Developing a community exhibition in Kachin State, Myanmar

This describes a participatory photography process designed to support participants to share their personal stories about gender and land in Kachin State, Myanmar. For this project, I developed a TOT to train local NGOs in visual literacy, basic photography skills and also how to support farmers to capture and share stories about their day to day lives in a supportive and neutral way.

I then facilitated a reflection workshop with the community trainees and trainers. Working with the local Oxfam team, I used a participatory methodology to support discussion about the key issues and to help participants identify the main issues and stories they wanted to share. We then worked together to develop a photo exhibition which shared stories about gender and land in Kachin.

The above photos show the exhibition design phase of the workshop, including groups discussions, identifying key stories and themes, deciding how to display the photos and how to communicate the key messages to a wider audience.

Images of the final exhibition, including participants sharing their stories with the public.

I used a variety of methods to support participants to find their voices, to tell short written and longer oral stories to attendees at the event. The method encouraged confidence building and valuing participants own knowledge, then guiding them to shape their stories in an effective engaging way.

Some comments from participants:

” I am very satisfied we could share our story. A very good kind of training.”

“Now I know we can talk not only by mouth, but also by pictures.”

“Today I could present a lot – I realised myself and how much I know about our village.”

“I could gain knowledge and also express a good presentation about the village. I am very happy about this.”

Client: Oxfam.

All photographs by Catriona Knapman