Voces de Cambio/Voices of Change – Supporting Education in Guatemala

February 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , )

In 2008, I traveled to Guatemala to study Spanish and take my first trip outside of the United States and Canada. You can see my writing from then here, here, and here.

While I was there, I met some really awesome people who do awesome things. One of them, photographer Lucas Mulder, just launched a Kickstarter fundraising appeal to support a project called Voces do Cambio (“Voices of Change”), an after school program that teaches girls and young women skills through writing, photograph, and hopefully soon, video production. This is what Lucas says about the project: “I’ve volunteered with Voces de Cambio since its beginnings and it really is an incredible experience watching these young voices develop and strengthen through their involvement in this program. In the short-term, this project has the potential to impart some new skills, and create some great short films (and I know these videos will be a source of inspiration and learning for other youth both in Guatemala and abroad.) In the long-term, the curriculum developed for these workshops will make video a regular part of the core program, benefitting future program participants as they explore the important issues surfaced through Voces de Cambio. In effect, your backing of this one project will continue to benefit the program long after these workshops are over.”

You can view the Kickstarter page here.

I already made a donation and I hope you will too. I’m supporting this project because I think that this is a well organized program that has been run consistently for several years. I know that as a teenager, writing zines was instrumental in helping me become who I am today, and I know that  my small contribution will go a long way toward making this project happen. Especially if you’ve studied at the Spanish language school PLQ (and I know a lot of you have!), this is an easy way for you to give back to a community that you have a connection with.

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The Photography of JJ Tiziou

September 23, 2010 at 9:44 am (Interviews, People, Projects) (, , , , , , )

I first came across JJ Tiziou’s photography through his work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (you can see some of the photos here). I found his style, and of course his subject matter, compelling.

Recently I was able to interview JJ for Shareable about how financing social justice work – particularly media work – is a challenge, despite how vital this work is. Telling our stories, celebrating our victories, and analyzing our defeats are some of the most important things we can do to strengthen social movements. We need people like JJ to continue doing this work, just like we need magazines and websites as vehicles to tell these stories.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Jen: JJ, maybe you can start by talking about how digital technologies and online content sharing sites have changed photography?

JJ: The advent of digital photography opened up the possibility of a new practice of photography as public art. Digital makes it easier for photographers to invest in personal community projects, and easier to share images directly with the communities that are being photographed. And millions of hobbyists are now practicing photography as public art through Flickr, Facebook, etc.

This is great, but this practice of sharing images online is also directly at odds with the ways that photographers have traditionally earned a living. Photographers have been able to survive as professional imagemakers through strict enforcement of copyright, by licensing images on a pay-per-use model. In other words, to survive as a photographer, you’re supposed to practice the opposite of sharing.

Continue reading

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I’ve Always Loved Dogs

May 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm (Places) (, , , , , )

Last week, The Guardian ran a slide show called, “Kanellos the Greek Protest Dog.” One of 14 photos, the one featured here was taken by Aris Messinis. The story caption says, “A dog that has been seen at nearly every demonstration in Athens over the last two years has turned up again during the recent protests against new austerity measures.”

This is probably the most talked about story among my friends in the last week, and yeah, I’ve always loved dogs. The Guardian also featured an amazing photo essay of the “10 Worst Ecocides.” Along with the NY Times Photo Blog, the Guardian is really moving up on the list of photo sites I frequent (which includes many of the independent sites listed to the right in my blog roll).

My next post? It will be about Facebook. Really.

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