PhotoKwento: Co‐constructing Women’s Narratives of Disaster Recovery

Author: Kaira Zoe Alburo‐Cañete


A recent appraisal of disaster studies in the last forty years has drawn attention to the urgency of advancing different epistemologies that reflect local realities of disaster experiences and of developing appropriate approaches with which to do so. In this paper, I argue that feminist methods and perspectives can greatly contribute to this important endeavour of promoting epistemic diversity in conducting research on disasters, advancing approaches that engender the co‐construction of knowledge, and consequently challenging the ‘hegemonic’ (and often gender‐blind) narratives that dominate disaster studies today. Specifically, I make a case for a feminist photo‐based method I designed for studying women’s experiences of disaster recovery in Tacloban City, Philippines. I demonstrate how the approach fosters engaged research relationships and participatory knowledge construction practices surrounding disaster experiences. I highlight the potentials of PhotoKwento to embody the qualities of research that are necessary for the advancement of disaster studies “from below”.

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