Visual Arts, Nottingham Trent University
NEETs are young people between the age of 16-24 not in employment education or training. There has been renewed political focus on this issue in the UK due to the imposed costs on society(DoE).
Equally, adolescents today are using image based communication platforms as part of their day to day life and are producing and viewing photographs like never before. There is currently an unrivalled accessibility and immediacy to photography: through the convergence of the sensory immediacy of visual materials(MIRZOEFF, 2002), and the immediacy that technology provides. Raising the question what sort of skills does one require in order to navigate through this visually driven culture?
My practice based PhD is exploring how this described enthusiasm in photography can be harnessed by utilising participatory photography visual methods and visual literacy with disadvantaged young people, to see them as individuals going beyond the label of NEET. Thus, achieving a better understanding of their situation and take on their role in society, and ultimately exploring the impact these art based visual methods could have on their social reengagement.
It also aims to engage in the broader debate of the visibility and role of the researcher within a participatory photography project and explore the approach and methodologies of the artist/photographer as researcher, in contrast to the social scientist, and the subsequent practice based outputs that were informed by them.