This Thursday, May 22nd will be a special day for students at Immaculate Conception School in Melrose. After months of hard work and learning, students who have been a part of this visual literacy program at the Bronx Documentary Center will be exhibiting their work. Please come and join and celebrate the wonderful work these intrepid middle school students have embarked upon since entering the program.
From The BDC:
On May 22nd, sixteen middle school students will make their voices
heard – through the power of photography. The photo exhibit is the
culmination of a hands-on visual literacy program called Everyday
Bronx, taught in partnership by nonprofit organizations the Bronx
Documentary Center, Everyday Africa and The LAMP. The photos are also
a chance for teens to show pride in the Bronx as they know it, and
counteract the often negative reporting by mainstream media on daily
life in their borough.
Using cellphone photographs from the Everyday Africa archive, students
from the Immaculate Conception School explored how media often shape
the way we understand other people, cultures and even ourselves. Like
many countries in Africa, the Bronx is often part of a media narrative
focusing on issues like violence and poverty. Left out of this
portrayal are everyday experiences, such as buying groceries, playing
school sports or celebrating birthdays, which are shared by many
regardless of where they live.
“The children in this program have captured these kinds of moments in
their own neighborhood – on the streets they walk every day and where
their families work,” said Mike Kamber, Founder of Bronx Documentary
Center. “Their photographs are a quiet revelation.”
“We are thrilled to spotlight the work these students have produced,”
said Austin Merrill, co-founder of Everyday Africa. “They’ve proven
that photography can help break down stereotypes, and they’ve become
ambassadors of their borough.”
“I was impressed how, in such a short time, the students demonstrated
their mastery of visual storytelling concepts through photography,”
said D.C. Vito, co-founder and Executive Director of The LAMP. “When
asked to discuss the concepts behind their photos, they confidently
described both their reasoning and their intent for framing their
Over the course of the program, students learned basic concepts of
visual composition and storytelling, and put those ideas into practice
by taking pictures of their own, often with cameras on their
cellphones. Professional photojournalists also came to the program to
speak with students about their work documenting news and cultures
from as far away as Liberia to as nearby as Brooklyn.
“This is just the beginning,” said Merrill. “Now that we’ve piloted
the program in the Bronx and in several schools in Chicago, Everyday
Africa is excited about the possibility of replicating this experience
for students all over New York City and elsewhere.”
The exhibit is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, May
22nd from 5 – 6:30pm at the Bronx Documentary Center at 614 Courtlandt
Avenue and 151st Street.
About Bronx Documentary Center: Founded in 2011, the Bronx Documentary
Center (BDC) is a non-profit gallery and educational space devoted to
documentary projects from around the globe. Located on the ground
floor of a recently revitalized building in the South Bronx, the BDC
aims to create an engaging environment for local and international
photojournalists, artists, filmmakers, critics and educators committed
to innovative methods of non-fiction storytelling. See more at
About Everyday Africa:
Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across
the continent, is an attempt to re-direct focus toward a more accurate
understanding of what the majority of Africans experience on a
day-to-day basis: normal life. As journalists who have lived and
worked on the continent for years at a time, we find the extreme not
nearly as prevalent as the familiar, the everyday. Founded in 2012.
For more information: http://everydayafricaproject.
About The LAMP:
Founded in 2007, The LAMP envisions a world of critical and active
participants, and seeks to educate and equip people to shape the media
landscape through hands-on learning. By transporting equipment and
educators directly to schools, library branches and community centers,
TheLAMP is able to reach communities which
otherwise have little or no access to media and technology education.
For more information: http://www.thelampnyc.org.