A while back I was approached by Joanna James at Spring Garden Church who was doing a paper for school at Wycliffe. The objective of her paper test and observe the effectiveness of photography in changing youths' attitudes and fostering unity within a community with the following as her thesis: The human story as told through photography, has the power to engage stakeholders, affect policy makers, and transform the internal attitudes and values of a community.
Joanna had a number of youth and leaders of the Spring Garden youth Group participate by first sharing their thoughts on community and then by sharing their thoughts on how they view themselves. The questionnaire was filled out at an event where I did a portrait with each of them. They have been given copies of their portraits and a collage has been put together for them in the Youth lounge where they meet weekly. One of the most telling questions in the questionnaire was one that asked the youth about a hardship that they have had to overcome. Surprising, was the fact that one youth said that he had never stopped to think about these things.
I was honoured to be a part of giving them a voice and to have been thought of and talked about in the same breath as some truly revolutionary photographers.
Here are some of the images: