Participatory Photography Project

I traveled to Guatemala in April 2008 to meet with Ajkem’a Loy’a and plan the summer collaboration. I was given the task to document my visit through photography so that I could report back to the students in NY. I felt reluctant about taking on this responsibility since I considered myself a terrible photographer. I was famous among my friends and family for cutting off people’s head when taking their picture.

It was during the meetings with Ajkem’a Loy’a, when I looked at these women decide their future through the lens of my camera, that a photographer was born.… I couldn’t stop photographing their animated faces talking about the infinite possibilities that this project presented. The camera became a tool for capturing the energy and passion in the air.

When I returned to Guatemala during the summer of 2008, I had the pleasure of facilitating a participatory photography project with Ajkem’a Loy’a. I was eager to share this skill with the women that had inspired me to start taking photographs and find my own voice through photography. I conducted several workshops ranging from how to use a disposable camera to how to capture a feeling in an image. Overall it was an amazing experience to see the women from Ajkem’a Loy’a find their own voices and the means to represent themselves through images. The theme for the project was hopes/dreams and fears/concerns. Here are some of the images that were produced during the workshops.

The participatory photography project, Another Look, was conducted in nine different countries, Guatemala being one of them. For more information on Another Look visit: http://www.gpia.info/anotherlook2008 .

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