Friday, November 1, 2013

Documentary Photography on Day 9

Today was Day 9.  As we have an 8-day schedule this means a day off schedule for the elementary students to work in multi-age groups.  All the teachers and assistants offered something, and the students signed up for what they were interested in.  My group decided to do documentary photography.

We'd had a Day 9 before and I did photography then too (see previous post).  Back in April we looked at photography as art, now we switched our attention to using photography as a documentary.  We talked about what this word meant, and about how we would capture the life of an old village within the huge city of Mumbai, just a few minutes walk from school.

I have to admit I was very proud of the students, who approached this task with respect and empathy.  I think their photographs and comments are very sensitive.  The local community were curious about us and extremely welcoming - we were invited into people's homes and businesses.  Many of these people are too poor to be able to afford photographs of themselves, so I have now decided to print out these photos on pieces of A4 paper and then laminate them and take them back into the village to give as gifts to those who so graciously shared their lives with us this morning.

On our return to school we chose the "best" of our photos and edited them.  For me the best part about this was when we came to lunch recess time and all but 3 of the students decided they wanted to stay in and continue editing their photos.  They were so engaged and motivated to get these done, to show to the other students during our sharing time this afternoon.

Remember, our students are only 9 and 10 years old.  I think they did an incredible job of sensitively documenting the life of our Indian neighbours.

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