Photography as a means to explore concepts of community and identity in underserved youth

By Maria Inês Lourenço and Maria João Pereira Neto.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The art of photography can be a way to teach. Through photography it is possible to integrate young people, especially those from poorer backgrounds, in nowadays society, which often places them on the side lines.
The inclusion of young people in artistic fields and the stimulation of thinking instigate them to develop a critical and analytical reflection of society, by giving them a greater chance of integration.
This article is the outcome of my ongoing research in the area of design and presents an approach to photography as a means to promote citizenship. Thus, it aims to provide the integration of young people in society. If from an early age young people are encouraged to think as adults, they will become better citizens and, as a result, society will also become richer and more enlightened.
In this article we present a case study. It was developed with a group of 15 young people, in each neighborhood, aged 10 to 15 who live in Bairro Padre Cruz, Bairro Alta de Lisboa and Bairro da Boavista, in Lisbon, Portugal. Once a week, for an hour a workshop was given in order to teach these young people the basics of photography.
The purpose of this artistic project consists from work done by teenagers in order to expose photographic works, which depict not only a community, but also a culture and a dynamic reflecting process about their own identities. From a social inclusion viewpoint, this work will facilitate the communication within society as a whole.
This project’s objective is to present these communities to people who do not live there and, simultaneously, give these underprivileged young people the opportunity of getting to know an art such as photography.

Keywords: Learn, Social Inclusion, Photography, Arts Education

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.27-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 548.713KB).

Maria Inês Lourenço

Ph.D. Student, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Maria Ines Lourenço is a PhD student in Design, Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon and Collaborator Member of CIAUD - Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design. She is currently developing her dissertation in the area of Design, entitled: Design for an Inclusive Museography: The Photography in Context of an Urban Exhibit. Her themes of interest are design, inclusion and accessibility, photography, museology, sociology, museology and communication.

Prof. Maria João Pereira Neto

Assistant Professor, Department of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty of Architecture University of Lisbon, CIAUD – Research Centre for Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, Lisbon, Portugal