Thursday, October 19, 2006

OJOS nuevos: clase número tres

Objective for Week 3: Portraits: Part I. Students will begin to explore portraiture in an experimental but guided manner. The goal for this week is to challenge the students to feature people in their photos while trying to capture an emotion or mood as well, moving away from posed snapshots towards more complex, pensive images.

For the third week, we began class with a photography slideshow, this time accompanied by the deep, rolling tones of a Seu Jorge song. Because we will be exploring photographing people more intently this week, all of the photos in the slideshow featured portraiture of many different kinds. I enjoy researching for these short movies because I fly all over the internet discovering photography groups , artists, and creative initiatives. I am building a collection of these sites, and along with a bibliography of all artists used in the slideshows, I plan on distributing this information to the girls as well as featuring it here on the blog. One of the photos I incorporated into the video showed a boy in prison in the Philippines, taken by photographer Hazel Thompson for her "Kids Behind Bars" story. While I do ask for silence during the slideshows, immediately upon reaching the end the girls asked about this boy, and what was wrong with his skin. We then entered a very interesting conversation about prison, children, and crime, and I found the girls asking questions that revealed them to be, simultaneously, rather naive and (sadly) experienced about these subjects. The initial giggles at the sight of his condition quickly dissipated into wonder and something like sympathy. This was precisely the kind of moment that makes me wish I had more than one hour each week with my class.

We stayed huddled around my laptop to critique their photos from the last week. Even though a couple days of rain had prevented us from shooting, each student still had a good amount of work to show. Lena and I both commented later that each girl showed her strengths in remarkably different ways. In certain activities, some girls may show more interest or creativity, while others seem to open up to completely different kinds of exercises. Because I want each girl to benefit as much as she can from the class, and there are only 6 students, I find myself trying to plan the widest range of activities possible and to cater them to the girl's personalities. I never knew teachers spent so much time on lesson plans (teachers: nice work). After reviewing their photos, I pulled out a few newspapers and a National Geographic I had purchased earlier in the week (thank you to those who have donated!). To the tunes of Ethiopiques from my computer, I passed out scissors and glue, and the girls began making collages in their journals of images they found interesting for any reason. Due to time restraints, they only had time to fill a few pages, but I hope that we will be able to repeat this exercise with more newpapers and magazines of different kinds because they had a great time selecting their images, laying them out in their journals, and calling me over to proudly show off their creations.

Project for Week 3: Create 10 portraits that incude elements such as a part of a story, an emotion, a mood, the person's character, interests, worries, etc...


The first class of OJOS nuevos will meet for another 5 weeks. While we are excited to have started class, our resources are incredibly limited. We cannot keep the program running without the help of our supporters. If you would like to see OJOS nuevos succeed, please contribute in any way possible. Thank you to everyone who has donated and helped us come this far.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tiene los ojos muy bonitos!! Que interesante proyecto- quisiera hacerlo con mis estudiantes aqui.