Envisioning Photovoice as Decolonial Feminist Praxis

  • Josephine CornellEmail author
  • Linda Mkhize
  • Shose Kessi
Part of the Community Psychology book series (COMPSY)


Photovoice is a visual participatory action research methodology that exemplifies many of the aims of decolonial feminism and community psychology with its attendance to the development of critical consciousness, the situating of participants as experts in their own lives and the aim for the psychological empowerment of participants. However, in most research projects, the participatory dimension of the photovoice process does not extend beyond the stage of public exhibitions. Participants are rarely involved in the academic dissemination of the research findings. In this chapter, we seek to disrupt this, and to provide a reflection on the photovoice process from three varying positions of power within the project: participant, researcher and supervisor. In particular, this chapter examines how decolonial feminist mentorship in community psychology can be enacted and enabled through the lens of a photovoice project based in a psychology department at a university undergoing a contested transformation process. It reflects on how the first author, a young white woman, and the second author, a young black woman, have learned about the process of conducting decolonial feminist work from either side of a photovoice project examining gender and race in higher education, under the supervision and decolonial feminist mentorship of the third author, an established black academic.


Photovoice Critical reflection Higher education Co-authorship Participation Decolonial feminist scholarship Visual methods Participatory action research Reflexivity 



We would like to thank the participants for sharing their experiences and for the effort and creativity they put into creating their photo-stories. We would like to acknowledge Joy Moodley and Professor Kopano Ratele for their involvement as co-researchers in various stages of this project. We would like to thank our reviewers for their thoughtful feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Cape TownRondebosch, Cape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa ViolenceInjury and Peace Research UnitCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Institute for Social & Health SciencesUniversity of South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa

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