The Centre for Visual Methodologies and Social Change is a research, teaching and community outreach unit located at the Edgewood Campus in the School of Language, Literacies, Media and Drama Education, in the Faculty of Education of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). It was established in 2004 through two research grants - a Competitive Grant of the University which made it possible to purchase video cameras, digital cameras and editing suites, and the NRF Learning Together grant, which focused on community-based HIV education and prevention research in a rural KZN district, and involved teachers, community health care workers and learners.
The Centre aims to promote a cultural production approach to Media Education not only in the context of teacher development, but also within community outreach. Based on our work we see a strong empowerment component that we would like to study further as part of the process of democratising research through the use of visual modes of inquiry and representation.
Click here for details about the CVM Staff.
The Centre for Visual Methodologies and Social Change has several main purposes:
(1) to advance the study of visual methodologies (photovoice, video documentary, radio documentary, digital technology, dress and other forms of material culture, including artistic representation and performance) within social action research;
(2) to promote a cultural production approach to media education not only in the context of teacher development but also within community outreach involving youth, community health workers, teachers, etc;
(3) to ensure appropriate training opportunities for staff and students who wish to incorporate visual methodologies into their research.
The CVMSC is committed to engaging in research, teaching, and community outreach activities that explore issues of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, and social inequalities both in southern Africa and abroad. The funded research projects of the CVMSC - Learning Together, Seeing for Ourselves, Taking IT Global, as well as the newly funded Youth as Knowledge Producers and elements of Every Voice Counts - take up these important issues in an arts-based framework, using the visual to give voice to the lived experiences of individuals and communities.
There are countless other important programs and organizations working to combat gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV, some of which we would like to highlight here.
Taking IT Global - HIV/AIDS
Youth as Knowledge Producers
Arts-based approaches to HIV and AIDS prevention and education in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
Every Voice Counts
Teachers and schools in rural communities addressing childrenâ€™s vulnerabilities in the age of AIDS