Globally, the value of in-depth two-way engagement between health scientists and the people that are affected by the diseases they research is increasingly recognized. In January 2016, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation initiated ‘The Heart of the Matter’ (HOTM), a participatory community engagement project focusing on cardiovascular disease (CVD). HOTM used photovoice as a visual method to catalyse grounded knowledge exchange between residents of the urban South African township of Delft, and a team of CVD researchers at Stellenbosch University. This photobook features a collection of the photovoice images, all taken by the participants from Delft within their home community. Along with their narratives, the photos provided a platform for reflection and response from the CVD research team, enabling an interactive process of co-learning for all involved. The HOTM photobook provides an example of how the knowledge of community members and scientists can be exchanged on level ground for mutual benefit.

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