Immigrant Visions and Voices: A Photovoice Exploration of Health in Santiago, Chile

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During the past three decades, Chile has witnessed a significant influx of immigrants, largely from other Latin American countries. Upon arriving in Chile, these individuals may experience a particular vulnerability and face immigration-associated challenges that can negatively impact their health. Thus, there exists a need for research that aims to better understand and address migrant communities’ health needs and the impact of structural factors and social determinants on their well-being.

This community-based, participatory project sought to contribute to addressing this need by employing a method known as photovoice to document the perspectives and lived experiences of immigrants in the district of Recoleta, Santiago, Chile as related to health and well-being. To carry out the project, the research team began by recruiting a diverse group of 11 immigrants from Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to participate in a training on photovoice and basic photography techniques. These individuals then applied what they had learned to take photos on their own in the community. Afterwards, they met with project facilitators to compose narratives and discuss and analyze the photos. As part of this process, the group assigned categories to the photos based on the main themes of their accompanying narratives. The photos and narratives, organized by category, were then presented in the form of an exhibition at various institutions, including at universities and at the local and national government levels.

We are delighted to share these photos and narratives with you here in an online exhibition (pictures are below; click each picture to read the narratives).

We also invite you to view a short video of the project in which you can hear the voices of some of our participants sharing their perspectives and telling the stories of their photos.

Finally, we also hope you will take the opportunity to watch a presentation of the project given by Justin Trop and Dr. Mellissa Withers at the Keck School of Medicine. 

You can also view a PDF of the presentation slides. 

You can also view pictures of the event here.

Adaptation as a Migrant and Social Integration

 

Environment

 

 Health Care

 

Stigma and Discrimination

 

Basic Needs

 

Aspirations

 

Social Relationships and Support Networks

 

 Social Vulnerability

Thank you for your interest in our work. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Justin Trop at trop@usc.edu or Dr. Mellissa Withers at mwithers@usc.edu.

This project was a collaboration among the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, the Dr. Salvador Allende G. School of Public Health of the University of Chile, the Municipality of Recoleta, and members of the immigrant community of Recoleta. We are very grateful to all of the people who have contributed to this effort, including our research team members, participants, community advisory board members, volunteers, administrators, and other collaborators. Additionally, we thank the Center for Health Equity in the Americas for funding this project, and the Dean’s Research Scholar Program for supporting Justin financially while he was carrying out this work in Chile.

Click here for more information about the research team.