Presenting on the challenges of developing cultural heritage tourism in Jamaica at the Scientific Symposium at the 21st ICOMOS General Assembly in Sydney, Australia on September 5, 2023. Photo by Irene Fogarty.
After ten years in academia and over twenty years as a professional photographer, it should be no surprise that I was bitten by the research bug. My current research is based on my early photography activities. Ever since I began exploring and photographing Jamaica, I was always asked, “Is that Jamaica?” whenever I showed people my photos. This led me to the realisation that most Jamaicans are not aware of our rich natural and cultural heritage. This has led me to my current PhD research into the use of photography as a tool for heritage education.
Another area of research is the investigation of the concept of “national photographic cultures”. Is there a variation in people’s knowledge, attitude and perception towards photography based on the country where they live, and how photography has been used historically in their country? If so, is there a need to develop teaching models for photography based on different national photographic cultures?
I am now a PhD candidate in Career & Technical Education at UTech Jamaica and a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). A spin-off of this research is the development of the Sites to See: Jamaica line of heritage education mobile apps. These GIS-based apps incorporate GPS coordinates, photographs, videos and information about tangible heritage sites in specific communities. The aim of creating these apps is to increase residents’ knowledge and awareness of these sites.
Details of research activities done to date, as well as grant funds/ capacity building that I have benefited from are below.
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES & PRESENTATIONS
Smith, A.P. (2017)
Using photography to determine knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards heritage sites: The Case of Buff Bay. [Conference session]. Edna Manley College/Rex Nettleford Arts Conference. Kingston, Jamaica.
Smith, A.P. (2016)
Using Photovoice and Facebook as tools for heritage education in Jamaica: The Case of Buff Bay. [Conference session]. 4th International Conference on Photography & Theory. Nicosia, Cyprus.
Smith, A.P. (2016)
The potential use of Career & Technical Education for the transformation of rural Jamaica. [Conference session]. 2nd International Conference on Education & Humanities. University of Technology Jamaica.
Smith, A.P. (2015)
Examining the feasibility of creating a multi-level TVET photography programme for Jamaica. [Conference session]. 4th Annual Graduate Students’ Conference. University of Technology Jamaica.
Smith, A.P. (2014)
Teaching Photography in the context of Jamaica’s photographic culture. [Conference session]. 1st International Conference on Education & Humanities. University of Technology Jamaica.
GRANTS & CAPACITY BUILDING
2018: Advance Program International professional exchange to Queretaro, Mexico.
2016: Funding from Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean to attend Media Law Seminar in Barbados.
2016: Early Career Academic Grant from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) to attend The 4th International Conference on Photography & Theory in Nicosia, Cyprus.
2015: Research Develop Fund Grant from the University of Technology, Jamaica for research entitled Imaging Heritage Sites as a tool for Conservation and Sustainable Community Development.