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Photo project

PeerThink Standard Sheet: Input/Method/Exercise

Based on RealGeM & GemTrEx, with adaptations referring to Blickhäuser & Bargen1

Name of the Input/ Method/Exercise
Photo project

At least 2 days for preparation of pictures + 1 day for presentation/exhibition
Target Group/Criteria for Access
Youth aged between 12 and 18, coming from disadvantaged town districts, potentially having everyday life experiences with Violence (as victim, perpetrator or witness); maybe it’s reasonable to divide older participants in girls’ and boys’ groups in order to have more concentration and less direct heteronormative dynamics.
Photo equipment (best: digital cameras, spot lights, computer)
Paper, pens
If wanted: stuff for dressing up, masquerade
2 rooms
Learning Outcomes
 Knowledge What is violence
What do others think about e.g. violence, a certain town district etc.
How violence is interlinked with bad social conditions.
 Skills Discussion of topics related to oneself
Deal with other opinions
Present oneself without words, express a statement
Debate and maybe conflict, acceptance of other opinions
Method Instruction
Preparation: discussion of different topics, e.g. how much violence exist in the particular town districts, which forms of violence have you experienced/witnessed, violence in schools, racism, sexism, Ethnicity, social inequalities etc.. Can be done by discussion methods like “Four corners” or “Barometer of opinion”.
Work on bodily and facial expression (e.g. “Charades”)
Main part:
Development of five questions on the particular topic (violence, ghetto, school, etc.) in pairs.
Photo shooting: Portrait photos will be taken by everyone. The pose or the attitude on the photo should be an answer to their own questions.
The presentation of the photos should be in public.
Step-by-Step Description
This method is best to use when the issue of violence (including structural violence like racism, discrimination due to Education, Gender etc.) has been discussed before. The method works as consolidation and for concering oneself with a topic in depth. It is also useful to work on bodily and facial expressions before, exercises from theater or improvisation performances can be done to become familiar with expressive forms of acting.
1.Discussion in small groups on selected topics like: violence at school, violence at home, violence at the town district or “living in a ghetto?”; topics were selected by seminar leaders.
2.Collection of questions concerning the chosen subject(s) like in a brainstorming, visualisation on a big paper, presentation of all papers.
3.Each participant selects 4 to 6 questions out of all questions.    
4.Participants go together in pairs to prepare themselves mutually for the photo shooting. That means they rehearse their attitude how to answer the question by enacting a posture. After the reheasal they go to a separate room where the photo equipment is built up and develop an answer to each question. Again they discuss with each other and with one of the seminar leaders how to express the answers. Seminar leader takes pictures.
The other participants play a game (e.g. the big win) or discuss something with the other seminar leader until it’s their turn.
The pictures should be put on two compact disks and will be presented as an “installation” via led-projector on another day and at a different place (more public). One could see two different pictures at the same time, each picture staying for approximate 10 seconds. The questions which were answered could be read beneath the photo.   
A discussion can be done afterwards, which pictures were significant, irritating…  
Pictures can be presented in any other way, but public attention is a factor that values the participants’ work in a special way: Pupils can experience the feeling that they matter and that they get credit for their (publicly presented) opinions.
In case of multi-media education the participants can work out the presentation form themselves.
Print out pictures and arrange them as a photo exhibition in a gallery.
Frame Conditions
(Room, Space)
One room for photo shooting, one for group (in case of separated girls’ and boys’ groups: 4 rooms). Could be good to do it outside the school to create a certain distance, especially when school is a topic to discuss about (like “is there violence at your school?” etc.).
Possibility for public presentation (school or district celebrations etc.)
  • group size
  • recommendation about point of time or process (e.g.“starter”)
  • Framework/Related Methods
- Group size: the smaller the more intense. Not more than 14.
- Working in pairs with an adult can be quite intense. This can make this method a “highlight” in a seminar. Pupils should know a little about the topic which is worked on, discussions about violence should have had happened before.

Possible difficulties
  • group situation
  • point of process
Comments and Experiences/Evaluation
Since pictures work without language, the dogma “every pupil must speak German” is overridden a little, the participants can use other forms of expressions. This is also an opportunity for students who are rather shy or silent to presents themselves and their opinion.
Some students use the opportunity to celebrate their friendship by pulling their friends into the picture. This is an important statement and should be supported, as long as they don’t hide behind them. The individual should be in the focus.


1 Blickhäuser, Angelika / Bargen, Henning von (Hrsg.) (2006): Mehr Qualität durch Gender Kompetenz. Ein Wegweiser für Training und Beratung im Gender Mainstreaming. Königstein/Taunus.

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