For the past ten weeks, I’ve been a TA in a basic photography course at The Point, a wonderful non-profit in the Bronx, as part of ICP’s community outreach program. Yesterday’s final class featured student presentations in which they read their artist statements and answered questions to a packed room.
The students, ranging in age from nine to eleven years old spoke eloquently and in great detail about their photographs. Not only was I impressed with their level of critical attention and analysis but their generosity, exemplified in the warm introductions to each other. Some were more comfortable than others in public speaking. Still, in practicing before the crowds arrived, they encouraged each other, continuing to establish the ongoing environment of trust and mutual support. In addition to their growing skills in photographing and printing in the darkroom, this crucial success provided a thrilling space for learning and teaching together.
These themes were reflected in their presentations. Students touched on their stylistic choices, the sense of mystery they brought to portraits or the deliberate choice to play with angles in depicting neighboring buildings. They spoke to the camera’s ability to foster new ways of engaging in conversation with friends and family. Finally, they mentioned the initial frustrations of learning to use specific tools in the darkroom and the fulfillment in better understanding them in order to complete their projects.
Here are a few of photographs from their presentations.