I haven’t been doing my Photography Friday posts this year…I wanted to take a step back and think a bit more about how I wanted to share the column. I’m still thinking on that, but in the meantime, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been moved or inspired by photography. Just the opposite, and as I have been finding things, I usually have been sharing in my Monday Early Edition.
But when I saw this photo above, it literally nearly made me do a double take. Because I had seen it before – well, not exactly it but something like it. The photo is from South Sudan, and we have something similar hanging in my parent’s house. My father had traveled to Sudan as a kind of exchange student, in the 70’s no less, and we have an incredibly similar shot, just in black and white. I have photos of him in and around houses just like this…and I have the slippers he was gifted, made of leather and leopard fur. And somehow I felt compelled to know more about the this particular picture…
The photographs were actually shot by children, part of a project called 100Cameras which aimed to put cameras in the hands of children so that they could capture life in a way than an adult or outsider could not. In 2008, they started their project in South Sudan, and have since expanded to Cuba, New York, and India. All proceeds from photography sales are given back to that particular project – for example, in Sudan. While the photo subjects are always particular to the location, I was amazed at how many common themes came through….education…shelter…water…community. From the eyes of a child, is there anything more fundamental? From the mind of an adult, can you help but wonder why we fail children globally every day in these things?
The organization is now in the midst of a campaign on We Did It (similar to kickstarter for non-profits) to raise capital to support two projects per year in future locations – you can follow along on their twitter or #givephotography hashtag.
I bought the photograph…it will come with us to Copenhagen, and though it’s of a place that’s far away and that I’ve never been too, there’s something about it that I know will make our new house feel a lot more like home.
All photographs from the 100Cameras South Sudan project.