Empty streets, community gardens, and abandoned buildings were some perspectives captured by 25 New Orleans residents participating in the Photovoice Project led by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC).
[Photo: Movin’ for Life Photovoice Project participant Ms. Cynthia Atkins stands with her bike at a park near her home]
The photo project is part of the PRC’s Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy) campaign, during which local residents in the Upper and Lower Ninth Wards of New Orleans and the New Orleans East neighborhhood met in small groups to discuss the needs of their community.
Each meeting focused on a health topic, and participants were given assignments to document what helps them to be healthy, as well as challenges they have faced in leading a healthy lifestyle.
Participant Mr. Brian Washington photographed an empty street.
“There’s no children playing outside because it’s not safe to be outside sometimes,” said Mr. Washington. “We have to make a safer environment for the children.”
Ms. Helen Robinson photographed her neighbor in his garden.
“Mr. Franklin tends to his garden, even after having surgery and he grows many different types of vegetables like mustard greens, and shares them with his neighbors,” said Ms. Robinson. “I want to be more like Mr. Franklin.”
Another participant, Ms. Cynthia Atkins, photographed herself with a bike at a nearby park.
“The park has activities to help stay fit, such as water aerobics, swimming, biking and a walking trail,” said Ms. Atkins. “It helps our neighborhood grow and stay healthy.”
Dr. Jeanette Gustat, a clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and investigator at the Tulane PRC, said the goal of the project is “to gain a deeper understanding of how neighborhoods influence residents’ health.”
“We also want to help share their ideas and suggestions with the broader community, including decision-makers, so their voice is amplified.”
The work of all of the photographers was showcased during a free, public exhibit. For more information, visit movin4life.org.