We celebrated the 2016 -2017 PhotoVoice participants with a reception at CHI Health Good Samaritan. The participants picked their top two photos to be displayed in the walkway of the North Tower. The PhotoVoice program is an eight week program consisting of lessons once a week. The participant is given a camera to use for the class and at the end gets to keep the camera. This program is designed to teach the participants to view life from a new perspective.

Participant Angel with photo.

 Participant, Angel Kouma, talked about perspective in one of her photos. “I took this photo of a cigarette. Cigarettes are something people get addicted to, sometimes people get over it, and sometimes they don’t. I tried to use the perspective of the photo to tell that story.”

Participant, Maria Buck, talked about one of her photos. “I jumped over a fence and looked down. All the leafs were cracked, but one looked perfect. When I looked closer there was one crack in the leaf. I took a photo of the leaf, and titled the picture you don’t always see the cracks at first glance. Photovoice taught me to stop and look.” 

Making friends with common interest is another aspect of the class. Participant, Matt Smiley said, “Photovoice has helped me in a lot of ways, like mentally. I have also made friends with the group and still keep in touch with them.”

Participant Matt with photo.

The participants spend time learning about creative writing as well as photography. They do sessions working on poems. “I love to see the creativity of the participants grow through the classes. They all impress me at the end by just how much they have learned,” said Josh Arias, director of the PhotoVoice program. 

Participants from the 2016-2017 Photovoice classes who were recognized at the gallery presentation.

The photos will be on display at the CHI West Tower Walkway through August 31. To find more information including next available classes see: bcchp.org/photovoice.

Community members were encouraged to ask the story behind the participants photos.

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