BY BTL STAFF
ANN ARBOR – What does it mean to be Jewish and queer? What strengthens or hinders your involvement in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area Jewish community or in the LGBTQ community? Where and when do you feel that your religious identity and sexual orientation or gender identity fit together best?
These are all questions being asked by the University of Michigan Spectrum Center through a new LGBTQ Photovoice Project in the Fall this year. The group is seeking participants for the community-based research process that combines photography and social action in an effort to answer those questions. Participants become recorders, researchers and catalysts for social change by documenting through photographs and discussing their own experiences.
Participants in the project will meet weekly with a trained facilitator for six to eight weeks from September through December. They will learn about Photovoice, including ethical and safety issues, as well as basic photography concepts to aid in visual storytelling. They will be given assignments to take photos that respond to a particular topic of question, and the group will share and discuss the resulting photographs each week.
The project will culminate in a photo exhibit to be mounted in the Jewish Community Center’s Amster Gallery in Ann Arbor in January and February of 2018 where a panel discussion and reception will be held.
Participants should identify as Jewish – any denomination, practicing or not practicing, affiliated or not affiliated – identify as LGBTQ, are any age (teens through older adults are welcome. Parental permission is required for those under age 18), and are available to meet two hours per week in Ann Arbor (days and times to be determined based on participants’ availability) for the length of the project. No photography experience or photography equipment is required.
The project is supported by a grant from the Jewish Community Impact Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor.