Saturday 11 February 2012

“Picture Me” Photography Workshop for Adolescent Girls

The students show some of their favorite photos
“Picture Me” is a photography workshop for adolescent girls to encourage them to use photographs to tell their personal stories and express themselves in a visual medium. In the workshops the girls learn basic photography skills and start shooting away.  We try to take a journalistic approach to photography exploring how you tell a story in photos.  Each girl writes her own story or the story of a friend or family member or some social issue that concerns her. Underprivileged adolescent girls are often not given a voice to express their concerns about social issues, the environment, their home life or what is going on around them. Yet teenage girls are thinking about these kinds of things all the time as they approach adulthood. They are wondering what their role will be as responsible adults in today’s world and how to achieve their goals. This is an opportunity for them to explore all of their thoughts and ideas about the world around them. As they take their photos we print them in the classroom and have an open discussion about the images and what they communicate to all of us.  The students in this workshop in Nairobi, Kenya have chosen themes including families coping with HIV/AIDS, street children and homeless people, unemployed youth and drugs, life in the slums and environmental health hazards due to mounting garbage in slums and cities. They are concerned citizens of the world and their photos show it all. It has been a great privilege working with these students and seeing their enthusiasm for the project. Most importantly the excitement of seeing their photos come out of that printer and their voices being heard and seen.

Wendy Stone

Communications Consultant


“Picture Me” was made possible by a grant from the Embassy of the United States of America.

The students learn how to use the cameras. Some of the girls have 
never used a camera before.
The girls photograph the neighborhood around their school
We all venture out taking photographs in the school neighborhood in
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
A street beggar kindly poses for the students
This is the first time the girls have ever seen their photos on a computer
The students edit their photographs and choose their favorites for
their photo essay
The students critique their photographs and compose their photo essays
The school Principal visits the class and looks at the students work

Wednesday 1 February 2012

“Picture Me” Photography Workshop for Adolescent Girls (Malindi)

The students exhibit their favorite photos
The “Picture Me” photography workshop at an Islamic school in Malindi on the Kenyan coast was a great success. The students were very enlightening about the Islamic faith and led the workshop in a different direction that was appropriate for their customs and traditions. Over the weekend several students got together to take their photographs in groups rather than individually since it would not be acceptable for a young Muslim woman to walk around on her own taking photographs. Other students shot photos during family outings with friends and relatives. The main theme, Life in Malindi, came across strongly in some revealing photos about Islamic traditions as well as social issues relating to poverty, the contrast between rich and poor and overwhelming garbage in the streets. The girls expressed great concern about preserving the environment and creating healthy living conditions for everyone.  

Many photos were taken at home where young women are permitted to remove their traditional black dress, bui bui, showing their westernized clothes affirming that these teens are like any others all around the world wearing fashionable jeans, t-shirts and colorful dresses. Over the weekend an Islamic celebration for the Prophet Mohammed took place with great parades and crowds. Music, dancing, poetry recitals and readings from the Koran delighted the crowds of hundreds of spectators in the city streets.   

The class reads through the Canon manual

We all start practicing taking pictures in the classroom

Looking at school photos for the first time in class

Our first photo shoot outside of the school in Malindi, Kenya

We all view and edit the students photos