The New Normal in Urban Pakistan: A Journey of Undergraduate Students Through Photovoice

Muhammad H. Raza, Neha Khatri, Sara Intikhab, Rumaysa Iqbal


The COVID-19 global health crisis is an issue of survival for individuals and communities worldwide. With its widespread consequences manifested at every level of the society, concerns about how to adapt to the new normal are rising. This study explores the lived experiences of second-year undergraduate university students located in urban Pakistan amid the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March to May 2020. Drawing on a participatory research approach, students as participants adopted a photovoice methodology to document, share, and analyze their new life realities. The themes that emerged from the data include fear, anxiety, isolation, relationships and hope, among others. Feelings of agency, empathy and a desire for community action were observed in the photo narratives shared by the participants, as they discussed their health, academic, and communication challenges while struggling to conform to the present circumstances.



students; COVID-19; urban Pakistan; participatory research; photovoice

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721