RAISE 251.2, ACAC 2019

Raise 251 began as an exploration into hidden or overlooked issues affecting community health in Mobile. This second iteration, Raise 251.2, takes a deep dive into the culture, economy, and traditions of the Cambodian and Laotian communities seeded in Bayou La Batre. By taking a focused look at these communities’ approach to food, work, and faith, we are expanding and diversifying the parameters of how health is defined in our community.

Dr. Denise C. Lewis has taken her work in these communities and partnered with us to facilitate this community painting its own portrait. Using the democratic power of photovoice, the Cambodian and Laotian community have defined the broad categories of Spirituality, Commerce, and Foodways on a personal level.


Photovoice is a process by which people can better understand and exchange ideas about their community through images. It entrusts cameras to the hands of everyday people, enlisting them as recorders, and potential catalysts for and change, in the places they know best. It is an empowering and flexible process that combines photography with grassroots social action, and is commonly used in the fields of community development, international development, public health, and education.

Participants include community members of all ages and status including those who are discriminated against due to language, gender, race, class, disability, etc. Through their art, they bring new insights and perspectives which raise awareness of hidden or overlooked issues and aspects of the community.

Accompanying the exhibition, Alabama Contemporary will hold a series of public programs examining the foodways, culture, and community practices of the Cambodian and Laotian community.

This Photovoice project includes images from:

Over 100 members of the Cambodian and Laotian community, but we know some image and facilitation was provided by:

Phy Chim | Samoeuy Chim | Tiffany Chim | Heang Bun Chhun | Visanou Khamphouy | Denise C. Lewis | Chansophal Mak | Khiaw Srihanouvong | Visal Thach

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