2021 Annual Report

Arts-based research: Photos from refugee youth exploring integration, social justice, and resilience

Photovoice is a research tool that uses photography, discussion, and critical reflection to represent the experiences and knowledge of groups whose voices may be marginalized. These projects used photovoice methodology to give youth with refugee experience a platform to share their experiences of becoming refugees and starting a new life in Canada. Photos are from the following projects. Click on a title for a pop-up description of the project.

Social Justice in Focus

Researchers: Susie Brigham1, April Mandrona2, Nabiha Atallah3, Ryan Veltmeyer4, Simone Chia-Kangata5, Louise Hanavan
Affiliations: Mount Saint Vincent University1; N.S. College of Art and Design (NSCAD)2, Immigrant Services Association of N.S. (ISANS)3, Youth Art Connection (YAC)4, Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition (CYRRC)5
Research Partners: ISANS and YAC

This study recruited ten youth with refugee experience to participate  in a series of workshops to explore concepts and issues of social justice and social activism and learn about participatory photography methods—the use of photography to represent specific issues or questions of concern. Youth took photos to communicate their lived experiences and the social justice concepts they wished to share. A public forum  was organized at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to showcase the work of participants, providing an opportunity for them to develop their public speaking and advocacy skills.

Flash Forward Photovoice

Researchers: Dr. April Mandrona1, Bayan Khatib2, Marwa Khobieh2, Zainab Abu Alrob3, Dr. Mehrunissa Ali3, Dr. Susan Brigham4, and Walaa Mousli
Affiliations: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)1, Syrian Canadian Foundation2, Ryerson University3, Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU)4
Research Partners: Syrian Canadian Foundation

This study took place in Ontario, Canada. It provided an educational and artistic platform for Syrian refugee youth to share their integration experiences through photography; foster a healthy support network; create positive visibility of Syrian refugee youth; and develop evidence-based practices for youth engagement in research. The research team has launched a virtual exhibit to showcase refugee youth’s photography. Each participant chose their most meaningful photographs and a quote to display alongside the photos.

An Exploration of Integration Journeys and Well-being: A YPAR Project with Syrian Refugee Youth

Researchers: Abe Oudshoorn1, Fawziah Rabiah-Mohammed1, Yasmin Hussain2, Ahmad Mouazen3, Sarah Alkik3, Diana Alaw3, Yasmin AlJabra3, Gharam Alsied3, Omar Almohamad3, Mahmoud Alzobani3
Affiliations: Western University1, the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI)2, youth co-researchers3
Research Partners: MRCSSI

Syrian refugee youth (aged 15 to 22) used narrative and arts-based methods such as PhotoVoice to share their integration experiences. The project explored how integration is experienced and navigated in relation to family, peers/friendships, school, work and community.