Seeing and knowing? street children’s lifeworlds through the camera’s lens

Phillip Mizen, Yaw Ofosu-Kusi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This chapter considers photography as a means of seeing and knowing the lives of street children. Following what Ennew and Swart-Kruger (2003) note to be a ‘paradigm shift’ in thinking about the growing numbers of children who take to the streets of the cities of the developing world, in our research we have aspired to the production of collaborative and complementary research practices through the forging of research relationships with the children who we encounter that give meaning to their agency and purpose. In the course of this we have wanted to take seriously what we believe to be the fortitude and creativity of children surviving under terrible conditions by bringing to the fore their everyday experiences and lifeworlds, so that we may understand better the knowledge and meanings that they possess and how they can act upon these understandings in purposeful and sometimes decisive ways. Put in the terms of this book’s purpose, we have looked to take seriously street children’s capacity to make and remake their social lives, viewed the children as participants engaged with us in a process of mutual understanding and followed this commitment through by encouraging the children with and for whom we research to produce photographic accounts of their time spent living and working on the street.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconceptualizing Children's Rights in International Development
Subtitle of host publicationLiving Rights, Social Justice, Translations
EditorsKarl Hanson, Olga Nieuwenhuys
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781139381796
ISBN (Print)9781107031517
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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