Picturing (as) Resistance: Studying Resistance and Well-Being of Indigenous Girls and Young Women in Addressing Sexual Violence

  • Claudia Mitchell McGill University
  • Maria Ezcurra McGill University
Keywords: well-being, health, young girls, women, sexual violence, resistence, visual research, participatory, picturing


The health and well-being of young people remains a critical issue. For Indigenous girls and young women in Canada and South Africa, the situation is exacerbated by high rates of sexual violence. The article draws on examples of artworks and close readings of several images of resistance produced by Indigenous girls and young women participating in a six-year study that seeks to address sexual violence in the two countries. Exploring resistance is an understudied area in relation to young people and well-being. Building on our visual research and fieldwork, we posit that the idea of “picturing (as) resistance” through the various participatory visual and arts-based tools is a promising area of investigation in relation to wellbeing.

Author Biographies

Claudia Mitchell, McGill University

Claudia Mitchell, PhD, FRSC, is a James McGill Professor, McGill University, where she is the Director of the Institute of Human Development and Well-Being. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa. Her research interests span work in schools with teachers and young people, particularly in the context of gender, HIV, and AIDS; girlhood studies; and participatory visual methodologies and community-based research. She is the author of numerous books on participatory visual methodologies and is the Editor-in-Chief of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Maria Ezcurra, McGill University

Maria Ezcurra, PhD in Art Education, is currently working in McGill’s Institute for Human Development and Well-Being and as an Art-Mediator in the Faculty of Education. Maria is an educator and practicing artist. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and art projects in Canada and internationally. Her areas of research interest are arts-based research, participatory visual methods, collaborative art practices, feminist art education, dress and textiles, violence against women, and immigration.

How to Cite
Mitchell, C., & Ezcurra, M. (2017). Picturing (as) Resistance: Studying Resistance and Well-Being of Indigenous Girls and Young Women in Addressing Sexual Violence. LEARNing Landscapes, 10(2), 207-224. https://doi.org/10.36510/learnland.v10i2.811