SocialVisions e.V. is a non-profit association that encourages people to communicate creatively through visual art.
Specialising in delivering community photography projects, SocialVisions organizes educational workshops and trainings and works on developing public exhibitions, participatory websites and image-based materials (cartoons, books) in order to create visual stories on social issues.
Active in the fields of community building, public art, intercultural exchange, capacity building and advocacy, SocialVisions works with individuals and partner organizations in Germany, Middle East and North Africa to create collaborative participatory programmes in which socially or traditionally marginalized or disadvantaged participants are encouraged to generate their own visual art work in order to share their life experiences and the issues that affect them.
SocialVisions promotes a culture of non-violence, peace and tolerance by enabling an environment for dialogue and the ability to accept different points of view as well as the importance of diversity. Cultural literacy – understanding the others – is the foundation for more inclusive and tolerant soceities.
SocialVisions is membership-based and relies on project-based funding and volunteers to perform project work all over the world. In recent years, SocialVisions has run several participatory photography projects in the Middle East and North Africa.
Photography is a powerful means of communication and accessible for everyone. It can bridge linguistic barriers and cultural differences, bringing personal perspectives closer to a public. SocialVisions knows the value of the photographic image. By teaching photography, we teach a process of seeing, of self-discovery, and a visual language that can then be used to communicate with others.Our participatory method is rooted in both photojournalism and international development and has its basis on the methodology of participatory photography developed by the organization Photovoice. In our participatory workshops, the focus is on identity-related issues identity and the aim of the workshops is to bring lasting change to the participants, empowering them to inform others and to be actively involved in decisions that affect their own lives and their community’s development. Participatory photography raises awareness in order to bring about change.
“It is a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. It entrusts cameras to the hands of people to enable them to act as recorders, and potential catalysts for social action and change, in their own communities. It uses the immediacy of the visual image and accompanying stories to furnish evidence and to promote an effective, participatory means of sharing expertise and to create healthful public policy.”
The PhotoVoice Manual: A guide to designing and running participatory photography projects.