Workshop: Participatory Visual Research Methods for Local Food Governance

Date: November 13, 2018
Time: 09h00 - 15h00
Venue: School of Government, University of the Western Cape

In a world in which knowledge shapes power and voices, and vice versa, the fundamental inequality in the production and use of knowledge about inequality itself must be addressed

World Science Report, 2016

Participatory visual methods (PVMs) such as body mapping, digital story telling, collective film-making, photo-booking, and applied drama support different and creative forms of communication and expression. Using these collaborative processes, participants and facilitators work together to produce powerful stories that open up fresh spaces for reflection, talking and learning. Because of their richness and granularity, the visual stories enable priority issues to be seen and understood from new perspectives. At the same time PVMs can help build up the participants’ skills to communicate their insights to others. These methods have been used successfully in the South African context to engage communities with science projects, especially in the health sector.

The Centre of Excellence for Food Security invites you to a conversation exploring PVMs and how they could be used to co-produce socially robust knowledge in South Africa. The conversation will be led by Gill Black from the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and Camilla Adelle from the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation.

In the morning we invite PVM specialists to talk about how they apply these methodologies in their work, deal with ethical issues and overcome challenges. We also invite social and natural science researchers to reflect on how these methodologies might be useful in their work, for example to engage local communities, work in a transdisciplinary way, and/or to generate ‘thick’ contextual data. After lunch, those participants who wish to stay, are welcome to join a more focused discussion exploring the use of PVMs to co-design a transdisciplinary research project around local food governance.

We’re looking for researchers across the University and beyond to join the conversation!

Please RSVP with a few sentences on why this workshop is relevant for you and if you would be prepared to talk briefly about your experiences to Camilla Adelle: camilla.adelle@governanceinnovation.org

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We recognise that producers, processors, distributors and consumers are incorporated into the food system under varying terms and returns. We also recognise the economic, social, human and environmental health impacts associated with food security. Therefore our goal is to conduct research, build capacity and disseminate findings that will promote a sustainable food system in South Africa.


Our research is concerned with the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. Thus our mission is to investigate products, technologies, processes and policies that can reduce food insecurity and mitigate its negative outcomes. We seek to make a difference to food security by linking innovative science with critical enquiry.