Image Maker in Residence

Centre HDR representative Kirsten Baird-Bate has been named Image Maker in Residence for The Sociological Review, commencing 15 December.

The Sociological Review is a Q1 journal, however, this publication will be in a non-traditional format with Kirsten’s images disseminated via their Instagram account.

Kirsten will be using her own images as a way to promote the value of visual narrative methodologies and tap into larger conversations surrounding primary carers, as well as some of the themes represented by primary carer participants in her research.

The images presented in this Residency are taken from Kirsten’s photographic journal and show her life as a woman, mother, and carer for her son with autism. The images, literally or symbolically capture the thoughts, feelings, events, and people that constitute her experiences of wellbeing.

The reflective act of photographic journaling is Kirsten’s way of ushering in (even fleetingly) moments of mental stillness. The images are not design-led, rather they capture the everyday moments, and, in this way, serve to validate, celebrate, the day-to-day experiences of women/mothers/primary carers to provide new perspectives on wellbeing, autism, and caregiving.

Women’s voices are often unheard.  Disability and caregiving are often invisible.  Photographic journaling makes these stories visible and centralises these important issues. The images, though personal, tap into broader societal challenges – exclusionary education practices for children with disabilities, gender inequalities, unconscious bias, the importance of relationships and family, mental health and wellbeing – and are set against the backdrop of the current global pandemic. The images locate disability within a family system, the local community, and wider socioecological contexts. Most importantly, the images disrupt the entirely negative narrative associate with autism and caring for a child with autism.

Make sure you set a diary note to check out Kirsten’s work.

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