StART Seeing

 
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The Photography Project: Luang Prabang, Laos

For the past four years, Statement Arts has traveled to Luang Prabang, Laos to teach photography to a group of young aspiring photographers and bring much needed equipment. Because of the generosity of our supporters, we were able to donate more than 100 cameras, (DSLRS as well as point and shoots) as well as tripods, flashes, light shapers, software, tablets, backpacks, lenses, cases and much more to Carol Kresge's revolutionary non-profit, @My Library.

Award-winning, Chilean photographer, Ari Espay and Liza Politi have taught camera basics, proper exposure, story-telling through images, composition and how to capture moments to about 30 participants annually. Every participant received his/her own camera at the end of each workshops. This on-going project is hugely successful and we hope to return to Laos again in 2020 . You can see the work of the young Laotian photographers here.

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The Photography Project: Yangon, Myanmar

In 2016 and 2017, Ari, Liza and Statement Arts ran four workshops in Yangon. For two of these workshops, they partnered up with Yu Yu Myint Than and Myanmar Deitta, Yangon’s only gallery dedicated to the photographic arts. Social workers from the Shan States of Northern Myanmar were brought down to the capital city to participate in these classes. These young activists are dealing with civil war, drug addiction, human trafficking, land/territory issues and rights for the LGBT community. They are on the front lines, often times before the media. By putting cameras in their hands and providing them with photography skills, they will be better able to document what is happening in their rapidly changing country. There were 10 (7 males and 3 females) enrolled in this workshop. This past February (2017) we ran our first 'women only' workshop. Eight dynamic and talented young women joined us again at the Myanmar Deitta Gallery to learn about how to make compelling images and story-telling. You can see the work of these young women here.

We have also worked with ‘Helping Hands’, the first 'socially responsible' enterprise in the city. There were 13 kids in that class (12 boys and one very brave girl!!!) and they spent the week traveling around Yangon making images and learning about the art of photography.

With the help of Scottish ex-pat, Don Wright, the final Burmese photo class participants were 11 young people who work in the country’s notorious ‘tea shops’. At the Morning Star Tea Shop, more than 65 kids live and work together. Life is quite hard for the these kids with the days starting long before the sun. Don Wright has been overseeing this project for quite some time and by bringing in much needed equipment and additional skills, he will be able to expand his current program to include more kids.