Through their eyes: Seeing experiences of Settlement in photographs taken by refugee background youth in Melbourne, Australia

Robertson, Zoe, Gifford, Sandra M., McMichael, Celia, & Correa-Velez, Ignacio (2016) Through their eyes: Seeing experiences of Settlement in photographs taken by refugee background youth in Melbourne, Australia. Visual Studies, 31(1), pp. 34-49.

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Although “refugees” are frequently represented in visual media, it is predominantly as the central subject matter and rarely are they positioned as the photographers of their own journeys. In this article we present photographic images that have been taken by refugee background youth portraying their experiences of the first years of settlement in Australia. We consider how, in our longitudinal research conducted with 120 refugee background youth, visual materials can provide equally important yet different insights in comparison to written or spoken narratives on the experiences of refugee settlement. Through an examination of over 1,000 photos taken by these youth, we explore the ways in which they portrayed their early experiences of external suburban settlement environments and their depictions of interior spaces and home-making practices. We discuss how these visual insights capture an alternative way of seeing the experiences of becoming at home as the youth become emplaced post-resettlement in Australia. We argue that the photographs taken by these refugee background youth illustrate how visual methods and materials can provide equally important but often overlooked insights into early settlement experiences. Importantly, the photographic images offer a way of portraying the people, places and sentiments that are central to the everyday lives of refugee background youths in ways that oral and written narratives can not.

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ID Code: 87815
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Refugee youth, Settlement, Photography, Visual research methods, Humanitarian Resettlement
DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2015.1128845
ISSN: 1472-586X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > ANTHROPOLOGY (160100) > Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2015 01:43
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2016 13:23

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