Completed Project:

Flash Forward Photovoice

Researchers: Dr. April Mandrona1, Bayan Khatib2, Marwa Khobieh2, Zainab Abu Alrob3, Dr. Mehrunissa Ali3, Dr. Susan Brigham4, and Walaa Mousli
Affiliations: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)1, Syrian Canadian Foundation2, Ryerson University3, Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU)4
Research Partners: Syrian Canadian Foundation
Keywords: Syrian youth, youth with refugee experience, newcomer youth, arts-based research, integration, photovoice, photography, Mississauga, community-based research, young people’s visual culture, participatory research
Go to: Full Infographic, Methodology, Findings, Online Exhibit, Publications & Reports 

Online Exhibit: Visual Tales of Integration

In early 2021, the research team launched a virtual exhibit to showcase refugee youth’s photography. Each participant chose their most meaningful photographs and a quote to display alongside the photos.


Overview: In this study, refugee youth used photography to document their integration experiences in Mississauga, Canada.

Objective: To provide an educational and artistic platform for Syrian refugee youth to share their integration experiences through photography; foster a healthy, creative support network; create positive visibility of Syrian refugee youth; and to develop evidence-based practices for youth engagement in research.

Research Justification: Syrian newcomer youth face significant challenges – including low educational attainment or interrupted schooling, poverty, social isolation, bullying, discrimination, violence, and engagement in anti-social behaviours that lead to police encounters. This project connected youth to their community and developed their skills, confidence, and sense of belonging by providing spaces in which they could express themselves artistically.

Infographic Excerpt

Full Infographic

Executive Summary


This project used PhotoVoice to engage 16 Syrian refugee youth aged 16-21, living in Mississauga, Ontario. PhotoVoice uses photography, discussion, and critical reflection to access and represent the needs, experiences, and knowledge of groups whose voices may be marginalized. Over 24 weeks, youth participated in weekly photography classes, mentorship, and workshops in communication, creative expression, and presentation skills. The project culminated in an online exhibit where participants presented their stories and photographs to the community.

Four focus groups were conducted with the 16 youth participants at the beginning and end of the project. The focus groups were conducted in Arabic to help ensure that participants could express themselves with ease.



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