Social Change through Photography


This paper will describe results of a survey that examines "Generation Z" knowledge of photographic images that have influenced social change and the respondents attitude toward the concept of using photography to catalyze change. Following the initial survey, and the respondents having received several months of technical photographic training, their attitudes toward social change in general, and photographs as an impetus for change are looked at again. The presentation will also offer a history of how and why our university created this class titled “Photography for Social Change” and describe the profound effects it has had on all involved. In its original permutation, the course taught photography skills, and the college students were required to pass on their knowledge to middle-school children from low-income housing. Subsequently, the course offered students a chance to create their own change-making images. The goal of this was two-fold: to teach photography skills, but also foster desire to promote social justice and create social change. Our presentation will describe how the course, and the students evolved in the process. Note: The class proved so popular with our students that we have added it to our regular curriculum for the Communication department.


Photography, Social-Change, Creativity, Empowerment. Justice, Illumination, Visual-Literacy


Literacies Learning


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Clifford Bieberly
    • Professor / Department Chair, Communication, Chaminade University of Honolulu, United States United States