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October 1, 2011

Civitas: a photoBIOgraphy project

The first semester is ending and for my Community health class (BS Bio 4th year students) I was trying to think of how to end the semester with a bang. After a few months of learning about community health and sanitation, even making field trips to do actual community profiling and learning about the dynamics of a local health system, I wanted to find out how my students were able to fully comprehend and integrate their learning. Yesterday, I proposed to the class a simple project: to take photographs of their community that would depict the various aspects or dimensions of Community Health. The class was enthusiastic about it and after a quick brainstorming, the class decided to open a gallery of their pictures on October 7, 2011. They even called their exhibit "Civitas: a photoBIOgraphy"

Admitted by ~bayen on deviantART
Civitas is a latin word which means community and the objective of the gallery is to portray the community and the various factors affecting the community's health through photographs. Among the many things they have learned in class, I have always emphasized the importance of social determinants of health. Thus, as health managers, it is important to always consider these factors. An example would be this picture shown above which I personally took during my work as a Doctor to the Barrios in the municipality of Candoni. This piece entitled, "Admitted" attempts to capture the desperate situation of the poor when it comes to seeking health services in far flung areas. Despite this seemingly desperate condition, the couple in the picture depicts as well some form of hope and commitment to each other. This commitment to stay with each other through thick and thin, "for better or for worse, for richer or for poor, in sickness and in health" invokes the idealism within; to stay committed to the delivery of quality healthcare services. The gallery will open inside the University of St. La Salle campus on October 7, 2011 and will be open to the public. An "expression board" will even be put up to allow visitors to share their own reflections on the pictures. My students are not experts in photography but I am actually excited to see their works. I told them to really make a good reflection on this project and find inspiration in the experiences they had during their first semester in class. The gallery will open for a week. Pictures will be uploaded in this website and visitors will also be allowed to make their own reflections on the images.

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