Youth Photo Exhibition a Continued Success
By Steven Levy
As part of their internship, five Connect-123 volunteers created a Youth Leadership Through Photography project at Nazeema Isaacs Library in Khayelitsha in July 2006. This project continues to grow yearly with the valuable assistance of Connect-123 interns.
The project involved fund-raising, teaching 125 students from Khayelitsha and Nyanga to use digital cameras, working with the students to edit their favorite images, and finally displaying the photographs at the library as part of a photo exhibit entitled “Through My Eyes”. The original exhibition launched today Khayelitsha with about 200 people in attendance and it continues as a very successful yearly fundraiser for the organization. This year’s project culminated in the publication of a book of photographs and poetry composed by the students, also entitled “Through My Eyes”.
In June 2006, Connect-123 interns Kyla, Allie, Stephen, Katherine, and Sarah gave local students digital cameras to use for 3 days and asked them to document their lives in the townships. As part of the editing process, the students chose those images that were most meaningful to them and then wrote about why they made their selections. These paragraphs were then displayed next to the images at the exhibit.
The entire process, from first holding a camera to displaying their work at their exhibit, took only three weeks. At the exhibit, the local students’ sense of accomplishment and pride was self-evident.
To increase awareness, the Connect-123 interns exhibited the photographs back home in Canada. In addition, in November 2006, “Through My Eyes” travelled to Singapore for an exhibit to raise money for a new Khayelitsha-based learning center.
Every year Connect-123 interns are involved with organizing the exhibition and festivities surrounding it and Connect-123 is proud to be associated with such a great, dynamic organization.