Using Photovoice to Understand Change in Forest Homegardens: A Study in Kandy District Sri Lanka

deHaan, Rachel
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University of Guelph

Homegardens are an ancient agroforestry practice that continues today to provide food and other resources, although they face immense socio-economic and environmental pressures. This study used the photovoice method to understand the local perspective of socio-ecological change in homegardens in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Photovoice is a method that invites participants to take photographs in response to the research topic. This method allowed the participants to teach and share their knowledge with each other, as well as others such as agricultural scientists, by disseminating the research through a local photography exhibit. The findings of this study suggest that rich knowledge can be revealed through photovoice, and this information helps draw attention to how homegardeners adapt to change in order to support their lives. This study concludes that local homegardeners have generations of experience adapting to changing socio-ecological conditions, yet their insights have seldom been included in research and policy development.

Agroforestry, homegarden, photovoice, local knowledge, socio-ecological change, visual research, participatory