Uses of Photography to Address Social and Political Issues in Guatemala

Uses of Photography to Address Social and Political Issues in Guatemala poster

Research Authorship:

Thomas Avalos, Dr.Clayton McCarl

Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Clayton McCarl | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


My research project involves how photography affects Guatemala. Following the Spanish invasion 500 years ago, several issues began to occur in Guatemala. Despite Guatemala being Central Americas’ most industrialized country, several issues were highlighted from the past towards the present. These include cultivation for coffee by the Indians, as well as women being abused and neglected starting at an early age towards adulthood, and homeless individuals living in urban streets like Guatemala City. There are several kinds of methods that explains how photography explores social and political Conflict and Guatemala. The first part delves into historical issues that occurs during the time the Spaniards invaded and colonized Central America towards current issues occurring today. Photography plays a vital role in examining issues and has been used to promote people of past historical events that some cannot forget, which The Street Angel by Daniel Hernandez Salazar provides this example. We then identify two specific types of photography that are used to convey visual messages include participatory and transformative photography. Photovoice is an example of transformative photography that plays a vital role in sharing process of researching health field subjects, as well as violence against women, and public policy changes. The Results shown in this project where Gendered violence of women exists at the start from the day she was born towards adulthood, thus addressing via public strategy organizations. While we start to wonder if these methods are beneficial since we are trying to reduce these issues in the coming future.