Keilani

 

FIRST EXPOSURES

In a necessarily generic statement about the project, San Francisco’s teen photography program First Exposures says its online exhibition Communication “explores how the photograph communicates meaning and the different ways in which that meaning can be interpreted based on context.” That’s a broad way of saying that their activities are rooted in developing visual literacy AND photography skills. The teenage image-makers have use antique processes, and made exquisite corpses, biographical images and studies of work and family.

In a city that is currently quite-very hard to love, I think it is absolutely essential to find things in San Francisco that are pure and you can admire. As a writer, I think it is important — everywhere and always — to recognise voices that emerge not out of market needs but out of community needs. These are the two reasons at the top of a long list as to why I am applauding both the First Exposures program and the products of its young participants.

Everything that the pros are doing these kids are doing.

– If you like A Piece Of Cake, First Exposures has its Exquisite Corpse.

– If you like Anna Atkins and Lochman & Ciurej, First Exposures has it’s own Cyanotypes.

– If you like the self exposition and exchange in work by Jeremy Deller or, say, Bayete Ross Smith and Hank Willis Thomas in Question Bridge, First Exposures has Letters To A Stranger.

– If you like Arnold Newman, you’ll dig First Exposures’ response to his work Zoomed In.

– If you like LaToya Ruby Frazier‘s depictions of family and Paul Graham‘s depictions of labour, then First Exposures has Work/Family for you.

– If you are into the collaborative portraiture of Anthony Luvera, Wendy Ewald or Eric Gottesman, you’ll love First Exposures’ Portrait/Self-Portrait.

The kids stay in the picture!

Recognition, too, to the unnamed staff and volunteers who facilitate these youth photography program. In San Francisco and elsewhere.

ELSEWHERE

Literacy and personal development through photography is a familiar notion. Programs for youth include The In-Sight Photography Project, Vermont; Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE), Nova Scotia; Street Level Media, Chicago; Picture Me at the MoCP, Chicago; Youth in Focus, Seattle: Focus on Youth, Portland; Critical Exposure, Washington DC; Eye on the Third Ward, Houston; and AS220 Youth in Providence, Rhode Island.

Incredibly, Young New Yorkers (YNY) actually uses photography (as well as video, illustration and design) as intervention in the cogs of the youth justice system.

“The criminal court gives eligible defendants the option to participate in Young New Yorkers rather than do jail time, community service and have a lifelong criminal record. The curriculum is uniquely tailored to develop the emotional and behavioral skills of the young participants while facilitating responsible and creative self-expression,” says YNY.

Also in New York, is JustArts Photography Program (formerly the Red Hook Photo Project). The exhibition Perspectives featured the photographs of teens from Red Hook, Brooklyn. The JustArts Photography Program (more here and here) is run through the Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC).

I encourage you to find programs in your local area and contribute.

MORE?

Please feel free to name other programs in the comments that I’ve not included here.

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