Miami in Transformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Participatory Visual Culture Analysis
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, Miami, Visual Culture, participatory photography methods, epidemics, coronavirus and economic insecurity
While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt around the world, Miami, Florida is one example of the specific and unique ways in which this pandemic is experienced. Drawing on the concepts of visual culture analysis and disaster literature, this article analyses how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the everyday lives of people living in this subtropical American city. Specifically, this study draws on data collected from a digital participatory photography project implemented in July 2020, as the novel coronavirus began to rapidly spread. Through an inductive thematic analysis of participants’ photographs and captions, we discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic transformed not only basic daily needs but also lead to recognition of privilege and an awareness of the needs and vulnerabilities of others. While many of the complexities illustrated in this study are left unresolved, the photos and captions are useful examples of how visual depictions can be used to inform and realign the ways in which people interpret and respond to global public health crises.
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