© Champika Shiranthi / Save the Children / PhotoVoice

PhotoVoice – Other Projects

PhotoVoice – Other Projects

A PhotoVoice project.

On the Move:
Project Managers and Facilitators: Caroline Shuttle, Miranda Gavin
Partner: Quaker Homeless Action

Making Waves:
Partner: Save the Children
Facilitators: Annie Dare and David Gill

Able Voices:
Partner: Healthlink Worldwide
Cameroon Facilitator: Venetia Dearden

Youth Photo Reflect:
Partner: VRCO
Manager: Lydia Martin

PhotoVoice – Other Projects

A PhotoVoice project.

On the Move:
Project Managers and Facilitators: Caroline Shuttle, Miranda Gavin
Partner: Quaker Homeless Action

Making Waves:
Partner: Save the Children
Facilitators: Annie Dare and David Gill

Able Voices:
Partner: Healthlink Worldwide
Cameroon Facilitator: Venetia Dearden

Youth Photo Reflect:
Partner: VRCO
Manager: Lydia Martin

© Champika Shiranthi / Save the Children / PhotoVoice

Over my years at PhotoVoice, I facilitated on, managed and co-managed dozens of projects and advised many other participatory photography projects set up in association with PhotoVoice or more independently

The gallery here showcases work from a selection of the other projects I managed.

Youth Photo Reflect (South Africa)

Photography by young people affected by HIV/Aids, Orange Farm, South Africa, 2006

Partner: Vukuzenzele Reflect Community Organisation (VRCO)
Manager: Lydia Martin

[vimeo id=”144905365″]

I directed a project working with children infected / affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The project took place in Orange Farm, a vast informal settlement 60km south of Johannesburg. It is the most isolated, least integrated region of Johannesburg, with over 1m people, 40% of whom are younger than 18 and 50% of whom have no income, the majority live below the breadline. Unemployment is estimated at 70%, far higher than the national average. There is little to do recreationally, pleasures are few and crime (including rape) and substance abuse levels are high. Such an environment provides fertile ground for the spread of HIV.

Against this backdrop PhotoVoice began a digital story-telling workshop with local orgnanisation VRCO, and facilitated a series of digital photography workshops for young people between the ages of 12-18. The project’s aim was to equip young people with tools through which they can speak out about their personal experiences and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS whilst simultaneously providing them with valuable life and media skills.

The project exhibited in Orange Farm and around Johannesburg.

Some of the resulting digital stories can be seen above. More digital stories from this project can be seen here.

On the Move - Voices from the Street (London)

Photography by homeless Londoners, over the age of 25

London, United Kingdom, 2003 – 2004
Project Managers and Facilitators: Caroline Shuttle, Miranda Gavin
Partner: Quaker Homeless Action

I oversaw a project in which PhotoVoice volunteers took to the streets of London to offer weekly photography workshops to homeless people over the age of 25. The project came about through Richard Woolrych, a long term PV supporter and QHA member who had previously run some participatory photography workshops in Christmas shelters.

The project echoed the transitory and outdoor nature of many of the participants’ lives, as – without a centre to work from – the training and handing back of photographs also took place on the street and in parks, with different individuals turning up each week.

Using automatic and Single Lens Reflex cameras, the participants were initially given ‘on-the-street’ training and learnt the basics of photography. The workshops aimed to provide both a creative outlet and a potential tool for self-advocacy – a means of speaking out and raising awareness of the experience of rough sleeping and becoming homeless.

From this, a core group emerged who returned every week to the van. The group decided to work towards a Christmas exhibition. By this time, all the participants were in some kind of temporary accommodation and, as part of this process, they developed powerful bodies of work around the theme of transition.

Opened by The Big Issue founder and PhotoVoice trustee, John Bird, the exhibition was held at the Concrete Basement, Waterloo. It was well-received and gained national press and radio coverage. The participants also took responsibility for manning the show and selling Christmas cards they produced. Proceeds from prints and card sales were returned to the photographers. As a result of the project, one of the group went on to college to further his photography skills.

The exhibition also showed at the Quaker Meeting House, London and was featured as part of a week-long event, 10 Feet Away, at the Union Chapel, London in 2004.

Making Waves (Sri Lanka)

Photographs by young people living in Southern Sri Lanka one year on from the Tsunami, 2004-2005

Partner: Save the Children
Facilitators: Annie Dare and David Gill

Just under half a million Sri Lankan people were displaced by the waves that hit the island’s coastline on the morning of 26 December 2004. 217,000 of them went into refugee camps. Nearly a year on, most were still there. Save the Children commissioned PhotoVoice to run a project with two communities near Matara, in the island’s southern province, to let children document their lives a year after the tsunami.

The first group of students lived in the coastal village of Kamburagamuwa. Whilst all were affected by the Tsunami, most of them are lucky enough to have their families intact and to be living either in their original family homes or new ones.

The second group of children were from Pellana, a large village in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, who were living in lean-tos in a transitional camp for victims of the Tsunami

Over five weeks professional photojournalist David Gill and journalist Annie Dare taught children ages 12 to 18 living in Pellana transitional camp for victims of the Tsunami and those living in the coastal village of Kamburagamuwa in photography. Some had lost family members. Some had lost friends. Others belongings and homes. Some had lost nearly everything.

The young people from Kumburagamuwa visited the transitional camps in neighboring Pellana for the first time during the photography project and shot their own documentary projects there. Those living in and around the camps turned the lens in on their own lives and the lives of their friends and families around them.

An exhibition of the final body of work was exhibited in Sri Lanka. The exhibition opened in London December 2005, at Save the Children, London EC1

Able Voices (Bangladesh & Cameroon)

Photography by disabled youth and adults with disabilities, Dhaka, Bangladesh 2004 and Yaonde, Cameroon, 2005

Partner: Healthlink Worldwide
Cameroon Facilitator: Venetia Dearden

This project was part of a wider initiative, funded by DFID, which aimed to increase the influence of grassroots disabled people over social policies, practices and public attitudes in Africa and Asia.

I managed and facilitated a project running photographic training workshops in Dhaka, Bangladesh to train fifteen young people with disabilities in photographic skills. I ran two series of in-depth photography workshops with the Bangladeshi NGO SARPV (Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for the Physically Vulnerable). Using simple point and shoot cameras the participants returned to their home villages (across Bangladesh) during the interim period to capture their own individual experiences and needs.

A small exhibition aiming to raise awareness about disability issues and to affect policy change, through the voices of disabled people themselves was held on the 13th May 2004 and was considered the first of its kind in Bangladesh. The participants’ disabilities ranged from total blindness to visual impairment and mental disability, learning difficulty to physical disability. Whilst each participant faced different challenges on a daily basis, the group was united in its effort to draw attention through photography to the needs, views and wishes of people with disabilities across Bangladesh.

A larger exhibition was held in Bangladesh during Chobimela (an international photographic festival organised by Drik) and the photographs were also displayed in London at The Atrium, DFID for UN International Disability Day Friday 3rd December, 2004.

A second phase of its Able Voices project, ran workshops with disabled people in Cameroon.

PhotoVoice facilitator Venetia Dearden trained the participants to document their lives and experiences by taking photographs with point and shoot cameras, showing the daily challenges they face and seizing the opportunity to express their views on improvements that could and should be made to improve the lives of disabled people in their society.

In December 2006 photographs by the participants from Able Voices Cameroon were exhibited in London as part of an exhibition of photographs by disabled people from three countries: Cameroon, Bangladesh and the UK. The exhibition ran from 4th – 15th December at Hoopers Gallery in Farringdon.

Two participants from Able Voices Bangladesh, Rozina Akter and Chen Banu, flew to London to attend the opening night of the exhibition and to talk about their photos and their experiences with visitors. During their visit they were given the opportunity to take photographs in central London and show how they viewed the city and the differences that exist between Bangladesh and the UK for disabled people.