Picture equality: give cameras to kids; train them in documentary photography and writing; encourage them to capture images that illustrate the realities of their lives; and show them how to use photographs and writing to tell their stories and advocate for improvements in their schools and communities. This is the idea, at once straightforward and unique, behind Critical Exposure, which teaches students the basic techniques and elements of photography: composition, framing, lighting, and perspective.
Then students put their training to work, using digital cameras and the written word to document the issues that most affect them -- such as DC's dropout crisis. Public exhibitions inform and engage the community as do legislative visits, public hearings, and press conferences. Just as importantly, students discover the power of their own voices, their capacity for leadership, and their ability to understand and seek solutions to the pressing issues in their lives. The union between art and advocacy creates a sense of empowerment that is otherwise in very short supply. You can be part of the picture.
1816 12th Street NW, Third Floor
Washington, DC 20009
202-745-3745 ext 20
WISH LIST: $100: digital camera for 1 student; $500: 1000 postcards featuring student photos to mail to legislators; $1000: art gallery exhibition for 25 students' photographs