Like the vast majority of Mexican young people who are deaf, almost all of my sixth-grade research participants were born into hearing families. They could not fully access the spoken languages used by their hearing families and mainstream society. This collaborative photovoice project offered an alternative medium for communication in a study about seeking treatment, language socialization, and identity. Young people’s images brought into focus particular aspects of their everyday, lived experience, which served as starting points for dialogue between the participants and me, usually through sign language interpretation. Each week, during our afternoon photovoice workshops, participants discussed the photos they had taken in response to particular themes chosen by the researcher. Some of these images were later presented at a community exposition called Proyecto Fotovoz (Project Photovoice). Here, I present images from two of the themes we explored: ‘A Day in My Life’ and ‘School and Learning’.
The theme ‘A Day in My Life’ invited young people to document their daily activities through photographs. María Isabel and Lupita were identical twins who, like many of their peers, used public transportation to traverse Mexico City in order to attend Instituto Pedagógico para Problemas de Lenguaje (Pedagogical Institute for Language Problems, IPPLIAP), a sign language-based primary school located in the center of the urban capital.
(click on images to view as slideshow)
Lupita’s clock in ‘Temprano en la mañana/Early in the Morning’ draws attention to the time at which the twins awoke each day in order to secure seats on the first bus departing from their semi-rural neighborhood.
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