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Digital Depiction, the Final Countdown…

Abertura da Exposição Vagalumes acontece no Casarão de Santa Teresa.

 No último domingo, dia 17 de julho, os Vagalumes invadiram o antigo Casarão do Largo dos Guimarães em Santa Teresa para a inauguração da exposição de fotos e vídeos que fizeram no curso de fotos e videos coordenadas por Frances Ridley e Tamara Torres. O evento de abertura foi muito alegre. A Fundação Xuxa Meneghel contribui com deliciosos quitutes feitos a partir de ingredientes naturais, mostrando que é possível ter alimentos nutritivos gastando pouco.
A exposição foi divulgada no blog de fotografia do O Globo, http://oglobo.globo.com/blogs/fotoglobo/posts/2011/07/14/exposicao-391942.asp.
As fotos da exposição podem ser vistas no link,  k http://www.flickr.com//photos/bandedarts/show/with/5950205087/ e os videos no www.juliotonitv.blogspot.com
Aqui no blog postamos também as fotos da exposição para quem não pode estar presente.

A exposição vai até dia 31 de julho de 2011.



Portrait using a (home made) Fish Eye Lens

We can hardly believe that it’s been 3 months since Frances from Banded started the Digital Depiction and Peeps from Within Project at Julio Otoni but it has. The project got off to a rocky start as although the kids and Frances were very much present, their was a noticeable lack of cameras and working computers for the first couple of weeks…kind of essential tools you would think for a photography and video project that would see the output distributed via social media. Well, not to worry, this is Brazil after all. If we, as foreigners living in Brazil, haven’t learnt to “dar um jeito” (that famous Brazilian expression to siginify they’ll find an often unexplainable way of making something happen) then quite frankly we haven’t learnt one of the most valuable lessons Brazil has to teach you…there is ALWAYS a way to make it work.

Landscape using Tilt and Shift Technique

Landscape using Tilt and Shift Technique

So armed with a few old cameras we managed to round up, Digital Depiction got underway. The good news is that a few weeks later we successfully managed to get international donations of 25 cameras which has made a huge different to the output of the project (and the quantity of photos that have been taken!) Each week a different photographic theme was chosen ranging from  technical themes such as “The Rule of Thirds or Tilt and Shift” to more creative themes such as “Women, Men and Water”. Given that the age range in the class was from 5-13, that’s a pretty big accomplishment for the kids to have grasped all this and to have been able to produce the quality of photos that they have in less than 3 months. The best photo has been voted by the public each week on Facebook and as you can imagine this has been the talk of the community as to who has been selected as “Photographer of the Week” by the “Gringoes” (said with a big smile and lots of affection). You can see a quick slideshow of highlights from the great photos the Children have produced at:  http://www.flickr.com//photos/julio-otoni/sets/72157626939603678/show . The Project also got a great write up in the local english speaking newspaper The Rio Times Online!

Peeps from Within has also produced some great short videos with the kids talking about themes such as Rubbish in their community and being responsible for the Questions, Interviewing and Filming. As usual you can never predict what kids will say and that’s what makes these videos extra special! Watch the videos  in the sidebar on the right or on our Vodpod Channel

In the last few weeks the children have also had some English classes added to the mix from David, our new Swiss Volunteer, in order to help prepare them for the photo exhibition that will be happening in July (more on that shortly) and any international visitors that might pop by.

Watching all this from the sidelines, it has been amazing to see the dedication both from the kids and from Frances to making this project happen and the inspiration it has given the kids. Last week we had a TV crew come down to film at the community/project  and one of the questions they asked the children was if the project had influenced what they would like to do when they are older….”Yes”, said Heverton (age 9), “I want to be a photographer”.  Heverton, aside from taking some really good pictures as part of Digital Depiction, is bright, articulate and seems to almost have a photographic memory – hearing him say that, it was one of those moments when you know that the Julio Otoni project is on the right track and that Heverton, with a little bit of help, really could be a photographer.

The last part of Digital Depiction / Peeps from Within is to produce a photo exhibition both in the community and outside of the community which brings to a close two important conclusions to ‘Digital Depiction’:

  • One: The children would have learnt beneficial skills that will help in their future as well as to have pride in their community and how to effectively show this to the world through different mediums. The would have leant invaluable skills in organising and putting on the exhibition, communication, business and will own a portfolio of photos, of had an exhibition, learnt new skills, have basic English skills, all creating a professional and positive conclusion to the project.
  • Two: the audience (both from within Rio and internationally from the internet) will have gained a deeper understanding of life in the poorer communities in Rio de Janeiro. The will be able to see the similarities and differences to their own lives, the negative and the positive elements of the slum, the community, social injustices they face there and the culture and creativity of the people. So that instead of judging and writing off different communities, or only having one media gained perspective, they will understand this part of society from the communities point of view.

In terms of making this a reality, the first step of this was to produce a video, as told by the kids, as to why we should help raise money for the exhibition:

We are still a long way of the goal – we need to reach approx R$2,5000 (approx £1,000 or US$1,600) by the end of this month (the date on the Wefund website is wrong for some reason) to make this happen and so far we have just £160. If you can donate even a few pennies that would be great and if you can’t that’s also great but please spread the link around to people who might like to…and don’t forget, in the creative spirit of Digital Depiction you will get mentions, dedications or even prints in return for your donations!

The second step is to find a location for the exhibition which we would like to take place in the first part of July (just around the corner we know). The first location inside the Julio Otoni Community is not a problem, but we are still searching for a location outside the community in Santa Teresa, Centro etc. so if anyone has any ideas, please let us know.

Some people might say there is not enough time nor money to do this. We say “Come on, let’s try…we will dar um jeito!”


2 Responses

  1. Exceptionally well written piece

  2. Great post is amazing see all those childs very happy.

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