LIVES OF WATER

In an ongoing international partnership, lab members have been working with staff from Jakmel Ekspresyon (JE), a community-based arts center located in Jacmel, Haiti. Our partnership utilizes participatory methods, which are designed to allow maximum input and expression from community members about what they see and experience in the world around them, and how they can share what they learn with a wider audience. In the past, JE staff have helped organize courses for children and young adults that joined art (photography) and science (environment; water testing), where students were encouraged to express what they found in the environment, and reflect on what they were learning, particularly with regards to water quality (water testing). Interviews with students and staff about their experiences were recorded and translated after these courses, and then qualitatively analyzed by lab members here in the USA. Together our lab and JE staff have collaborated on course material, expanding water testing capabilities, and writing research papers reflecting the views of staff and students. In future, more courses are planned, as well as using GIS mapping to share the students' water test results and locations with the broader community.

Image by Kayla Gibson