Photography for Youths' Rights
This project’s main purpose is to raise at-risk boys and girls’ awareness about their human rights and their civic responsibilities, using photography as an artistic tool through which they will be able to show how they interpret the lessons learned in the project’s workshops, and furthermore, they will be able to occupy their free time in a constructive and wholesome manner.
This Project was conceived by Fundación Siembra Comunidad (Community Seeds Foundation), a not-for-profit organization that works towards the development of social actions focused on strengthening the citizen’s skills, attitudes and abilities to propitiate a society where peace can be possible. This project was already implemented in the 18th Commune (a vulnerable neighborhood) in Cali, Colombia, with 22 children and youths who learned about human rights, civic rights, and photographic technics. This artistic medium allowed them to document scenes from their own daily lives. Through this exercise of self-expression they were able to develop a critical vision that enabled them to choose, compose and register images of people and situations from their particular environments. With throwaway cameras the participants were able to capture images through which they expressed their rights and duties as member of a community. The best among these images have been printed and used in public exhibits around the city.
An example of the project’s impact is Carolina Caicedo, a girl who used to have serious behavior issues until she found Fundacion Siembra Comunidad and the project “Reporteritos al Derecho”. After participating in this project, Carolina developed a clear sensitivity about the importance of the rights and duties of the citizens and the role that each person have around them. Nowadays, Carolina is a prominent student with great grades. Besides, participating in “Reporteritos al Derecho” allowed her finding her vocation, being a positive change agent in her family, neighborhood and city through her participation in the volunteer brigades of Fundación Siembra Comunidad.
The AlvarAlice Foundation, member of the alliance that promoted and sponsored the recently inaugurated Cultural Technocenter Somos Pacifico (We are Pacific), and the Fundacion Siembra Comunidad, are trying to raise the necessary resources so that this Project can be replicated with 50 boys and girls of the Potrero Grande neighborhood, in the 21st Commune of Cali.. The Cultural Technocenter Somos Pacifico is a community center where non-formal educational programs are offered, with special care to respect the ideological, ethnic, cultural and gender differences, and whose main objective is to support the peace building efforts through its array of technological, cultural and income generation activities that promote a comprehensive and inclusive human development approach in this section of Cali. We believe it is the perfect venue to implement our idea.
To raise awareness in girls and boys about their rights and duties, using photography as their self-expression and documentation tool, which will permit them to act as agents of change within their families, communities and society.
1. To offer workshops about the participants’ basic human rights and civic duties.
2. To offer workshops on the technical aspects of photography, so they can use it as a tool to capture and express their own perspective about their rights and duties.
3. To promote these youths’ participation on the decisions that affects their wellbeing.
4. To share this project’s experience with the community at large by organizing one or more public exhibitions of the participant’s work.
5. To motivate the participants to become replicators of this information, and awareness raising agents on the importance of having children’s and youths’ rights respected and of abiding by their duties as members of their families and their communities.
Potrero Grande is a neighborhood made up of at least 5, 000 families. Many of these victims of forced displacement from their original birth places, because of Colombia’s internal conflict.. This sector of Cali is known for having some of the highest levels of violence in the region – 77 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants-, as well as very low percentage of educational coverage– 48.5% for primary school and 42.1% for high school– and a big deficiency of urban infrastructure and basic public services.
60% of the heads of household in Potrero Grande did not finish their primary or secondary schooling. 67% of them cannot earn the official minimum legal salary, according to data from the Municipal Housing Office.
An average of 1,200 inhabitants of Potrero Grande are beneficiaries of the Cultural Technocenter Somos Pacífico, where they have access to a program called “Network of Girls, Boys and Youths”, that offers artistic and cultural activities so that these children and youths can use their free time in a constructive manner.
Young journalists on the Right seeks to work with boys, girls and youths that are part of the “Network of Girls, Boys and Youths” program of the Cultural Technocenter, so that they can become agents of change within their families, their communities and society at large.
In order to develop the project, a series of workshops will be scheduled for 50 girls and boys who are enrolled in the program “Children and Youths Network” of the Cultural Technocenter “Somos Pacifico”
1. Human Rights and Civic Duties workshops: Each group will attend a weekly workshop on human rights and civic duties. The purpose of these workshops is to raise awareness of the importance of human rights and to promote civic duties among children and youths, which will lead to a healthier co-existence in the neighborhood. The program also seeks to motivate and train its participants to disseminate their knowledge of the subject among their peers and in the community at large.
2. Basic Photographic Theory Workshops: Each group of participants will attend a basic photography theory workshop. Children will learn the basic technical procedures of photography such as lighting, special planes, etc.
3. Practical Exercise: Each month, there will be a field trip of each of the participants’ groups. The purpose of this is so that the girls and boys can put into practice all the theories they have learned in the various workshops.. The purpose of these field trips is so that the students can capture images that they find relevant to their human rights and/or civic duties.
4. Choosing and summarizing each participant’s best pictures: The images that better represent the right and the duty chosen by every participant will be picked along with them, so they can express their view of what they’ve learned in the workshops.
5. Exhibition: There will be a public exhibition of the chosen images in the Cultural Technocenter Somos Pacifico’s space. The residents of the 21st Commune will be all invited, with the purpose of raising their awareness of this kind of important human rights and civic duty issues.