Participatory visual research with displaced persons: ‘listening’ to post-conflict experiences through the visual

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Research with refugees, IDPs and other marginalised groups entails complexities which make it imperative to think through the ethical and methodological strategies to not only ‘do no harm’, but also allow the research to be valuable for the participants. This article contributes to this methodological debate by demonstrating how participatory visual research offers an innovative tool for democratising research and avoiding the risk of retraumatisation. This type of research moreover enables participants to visually represent and communicate their – gender-specific – truth, thus enabling them to counter official representations of their situation and gendered stereotypes of vulnerable IDP women. Participatory visual research can thus become an instrument to contribute to social change, in line with the goals of feminist research. This article describes its use during a research process with women in two communities of returned IDPs in Colombia’s Caribbean coast


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417
Number of pages435
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018


  • Visual research methods, Participatory research, Displacement, Gender equality, Colombia