Our lives expand in so many different ways, whether we tend to them or not, things will change. So it is with the seeds that we have planted through Cameras4Change too! We could not be prouder of the many accomplishments that have taken place in the past couple of years since we began this journey. Our last workshop in Mexico City in June was the result of an ongoing collaboration between C4C and three different partners there. Sometimes we don’t always know what will happen when we begin working with a new partner, but we are sure that the experience and work we do in these initial projects will be worthwhile in itself. To our delight however, the partners in Mexico have taken things to an all new level, using our photo workshop model and incorporating it into their programs and proving the sustainability and legacy of what we envisioned from the beginning is possible! Since the original workshop in June, Proyecto ConcentrArte has utilized the cameras gifted to the Paz Paz Bus for a number of different workshops in other areas in .Mexico, Huamantla and incorporated them into a longterm annual project they participate in every September in Cuatro Cienegas, a Mexican biological reserve. This past week we learned that the cameras will now be used in a very interesting eco-project in Balancán Tabasco Mexico. Cameras4Change friend Shiara Gonzales, a veterinarian will be giving guided tours to groups of 9-12 year olds, touring them into the jungles where the Saraguato Monkey lives. The Saraguato Monkey is an endangered species and the children will photograph the monkeys and their habitat as a way to explore their importance and where they live. We love how the cameras continue to be utilized in new and creative ways, but more importantly that they continue to live on in meaningful projects, and others continue to experience the art and joy of photography, and tell their own stories in their own ways.
Segunda Semana Internacional del Mono Saraguato Negro – Balancán, Tabasco, México
This is the ethos of cameras4change, community, learning, changing and growing!
1. connecting with nature through the camera. Margaret Dixon
Whenever people hear the name Cameras4Change they are always receptive, and often intrigued to hear more! Everyone seems to love photography and our name rings that bell! There is an obvious connection with cameras, but when we explain on a deeper level how the camera can do so much, there is a delightful reaction. Just like the magic of seeing an image come to life in a tray of developer, little by little a transformation takes place through the simple process of working in a group with cameras.
Our recent workshop here in Vancouver was no exception. When kids have cameras they have fun there is no doubt, but there are so many other subtle things happening at the same time. They are forced to focus in the moment, and by doing that a whole domino effect takes place. They are continually interacting with not only themselves, but their environment and each other. They may need assistance with the camera, so they ask a leader, or friend; they want to share what they see through their lens and continually reach out to others around them. They gain knowledge of the camera and that builds skill and understanding that can be accessed again, and also applies to learning in other areas. Their sense of pride and self is strengthened through this very simple process. It really does distill down to “connecting”, the hand on a shoulder, talking with each other in authentic ways, sharing, caring and taking the time to simply be there. We could even call it Connecting 4Change!
These are images from the participants, the ways they approach the world with the camera can also be applied to life!2. checking out what’s growing in the garden. Margaret Dixon3. Fun with a “selfy”. Margaret Dixon
4. Looking up. Margaret Dixon
5. Learning the ropes together on the 1st day. Seraphina Lalonde5. Looking at things from a different perspective! Seraphina Lalonde
Today we wrapped up our summer camp workshop, watched the youth graduate from the PIMS program at UBC in an informal but moving ceremony in the UBC Longhouse. We were able to present them with their cameras along with a Nikon bag and some great Nikon swag! Cameras were out and in use straight away! We are very proud that the workshop went so well with these kids who were truly amazing creatively, and fun to work with. We want to thank everyone of the volunteers and the corporate support from Nikon Canada and The Camera Store! Also our partners through PIMS, Le Chou, The Evergreen Foundation and The Grandview Food Connection, together we accomplished a lot! Kids have cameras and we love it!! Here are a few of them with their swag! Thanks to Sadia Ibriham for the phone shots!