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Guelph Summer 2014

The participatory action research group involving youth who had experienced marginalization primarily related to lack of consistent and stable housing was part of the larger CIHR Team Group Voices Against Violence, investigating the influence of structural violence on the lives and health of youth in Canada. There were initially thirteen youth recruited for the group. Not all participants were able to attend all sessions, reflecting some of the instability and uncertainty in their own daily lives over the course of three months. The final group of participants included 6 young people between the ages of 16 and 20 years and met over the course of 3 months in the spring/summer of 2014 in Guelph, Ontario. During weekly meetings, topics related to the powerful influences of class and media, the spectrum of visibility of persons in particular spaces and places, the challenges of creating change and having an impact, the development of communities, and the importance of caring for one another were discussed and expressed in a range of creative ways. A range of arts-based activities, including mapping, mask-making, collages, painting, and photovoice were utilized by participants to explore and create expressions of these issues. A photovoice presentation provides evidence of these young persons’ experiences and perspectives of life in their local community, of spaces and places, and of their sense of being visible and invisible to others.

Video created during the project: