Mayan young women and photovoice: Exposing state violence(s) and gendered migration in rural Guatemala


This research reports on a collaborative photovoice project developed to document and respond to some of the effects of the complex interface of state violence and gendered migration in the Southern Quiché region of Guatemala. The participating women were students in a local high school who had at least one parent living in the United States, and had themselves expressed some interest in migrating North at some point in their lives. Findings from the photovoice process revealed how these young women’s transnational understandings of family and home shaped their hopes, resistance, and complex views of migration. The youth’s visual representations facilitated community dialogues regarding the urgency to challenge gendered forms of discrimination at the intersection of state violence and migration. The article also discusses ethical implications for co-researchers and Mayan communities seeking to engage feminist-infused photovoice processes that best support Mayan young women’s resistance to some of the structural violence(s) that push them North.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v2i2p56

Keywords: Mayan young women, Guatemala, state violence, gendered and racialized migration, photovoice


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