Women’s experiences and voices are vital in this research – their understandings and insights into their journeys.
As part of the project, participatory photography was carried out with groups of women in three areas of London: two groups in women’s refuges where women would soon be on the move again, and one at a women’s centre with women who were beginning to resettle.
Over weekly sessions, participants used their photography and captions to communicate their experiences, producing images, maps and collages for themselves, for the group, for display in women’s services, and for wider presentation through the research.
In this poster, women took the slogan from a London bus as a metaphor for their own journeys from abuse to freedom. As a mixture of London-born women, and women who had come to London, they took many photographs of their journeys around London on public and private transport, documenting their growing confidence and familiarity with different routes.
Within the groups they also shared knowledge of places and journeys – taking photographs and developing maps of useful locations and services for other women they imagined coming after them. Whilst recognising what they had lost, women also focused on what they could take with them, and on sharing messages of strength and hope to reach other women they imagined making similar forced journeys. Captions to the photographs included “There is always a ‘Way Out’!” and emphasising in the image of traffic lights that “all the lights are green!” Through the groupwork, women explored their experiences of displacement and resettlement, and brought their individual images together into collages to show their collaboration.
Some of the posters were also part of an online exhibition at the Im/mobile Lives in Turbulent Times conference: