In an effort to address the experiences of undocumented immigrants, the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA) designed a "coming out" initiative using photography, media projects, and popular education techniques. Photovoice is an activity in which participants create and discuss photographs as a means of catalyzing personal and community change.
Photo narratives incorporate a two-tier process: personal and communal. Through photography and media projects, participants engage in critical reflection and examination. By addressing individual chronicles, participants work together to identify and explore issues, as well as develop a collective narrative of shared experiences. Community members take photographs that address salient community and personal concerns, and present them as part of a group discussion. This process facilitates the recognition of personal agency and community strengths through dialogue and shared knowledge. Photography transitions into a forum of lived experiences and priorities through self-identified images.
Students will be given 35mm cameras, technical instruction, and an introduction to photo narration. Critical reflection exercises will encourage photographers to investigate their experience and community. Participants will meet with a GUYA peer to discuss the photographs, and construct individual portfolios. They are encouraged to accompany photos with various types of creative written and oratory expression, including poetry and music.
The GUYA photo project encourages the capacity to name the world, to identify the obstacles to progress, and the courage to act upon whatever the inquiry demands.
Through the process of independent exploration and creative media, immigrants will show how their personal experiences relate to larger political framework. The photo project is based on utilizing creative means for the most affected communities to establish a platform for documenting their collective history. In order to harness and utilize the rich source of knowledge that exists in all of us, we must find creative ways to fully grasp, reinterpret, and appropriate these experiences. We can learn a great deal about the community, immigration, the treatment of a population, and the effects of policy from these personal accounts. Photo exhibitions will be held between March 10th-20th, 2012 throughout the state of Georgia. Locations will be announced
Donations will be used to cover costs for cameras, film, photo development, transportation expenses, and exhibition materials. Thank you for your support!