As our team brainstormed ideas to get to know our co-researchers better, the concept of giving each of them a disposable camera was brought up by one of our advisors, and we thought it would provide us with the unique opportunity to learn about Vygieskraal through their eyes. PhotoVoice utilises innovative participatory photography and digital storytelling methods to enable individuals to represent themselves and create tools for communication (PhotoVoice, 2015). It is specifically used within disadvantaged and marginalised communities, and because of the nature of photography, is capable of crossing cultural and linguistic barriers (PhotoVoice, 2015).

When we mentioned the disposable cameras to our co-researchers, they seemed enthused about the idea – our team even had to go back to the store to buy two additional cameras to give some other residents whom we had spoken to about the idea. After developing the pictures that were taken on five separate disposable cameras, our team utilised a projector in a room at the stadium to go over the photos with our co-researchers, as well as a few additional residents from Vygieskraal.

An interesting observation that our co-researchers made for a few different photos was that, more often than not, the focus of the photo was not on the object or person at the centre of the image, but rather on something going in the background. The slideshow below gives a few examples of photos that stood out to our co-researchers and our team.

Figure 1: Photo of Bongani's, one of our co-researcher's, children.Figure 2: Woman cooking a braai in the background of the photo.Figure 3: Woman carrying her small child around the settlement. Figure 4: A man was thrown out of his shack, so all of his belongings are now on the side of the street.Figure 5: Men “cooling down” on a hot day in the settlement. They are drinking outside of a shebeen, a type of local bar.