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REPORTING · 28th June 2011
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Museum and Archives is hosting an exhibit of photographs based on the report, Surviving, not Thriving. The exhibit opened on Tuesday, June 21st.

”This is based on the research project we’ve been working on for a couple of years, it’s a project that happened in four communities across BC and it is a photograph project having to do with women who left violent relations and had difficulty finding housing afterwards,” said Stephanie Howell.

Kitimat, the West Kootneys, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley were all involved in this project.

Four themes emerged from all of the data which was collected. The themes are: Poverty, Health Effects, Unacceptable and Unsafe Housing Conditions and Persistent Patterns of Re-victimization. The re-victimization came from catch 22s and policies.

One part of the report, which was available at the exhibit, discussed how hard it is to find uncontaminated housing. “While unacceptable conditions were prevalent across all four sites, they were especially apparent in Kitimat where the existing housing stock is old and has been poorly maintained,” read Howell from the report. “Amidst the current economic downturn, the value of properties and the demand for rental units has decreased to the extent where there is no incentives to maintain, let alone improve the conditions of rental housing stock, nor are any governing bodies actively regulating it.”

There are photos from the women and quotes to go along with them. These photos will be up until July 16th. There is also information about the groups who helped with the project including Tamitik Status of Women and Kitimat Community Services.