Students developed visual literacy skills to analyze historical photographs and document their own perspectives and experiences through photography. Their analyses and artistry were bolstered by workshops conducted by local artists and by photographs and curriculum developed by San Diego’s AjA Project, a photography-based youth program. The final assignment and exhibition, entitled NOW: Contemplations on Contemporary Society, included a photograph and audio excerpt of their final narrative, which captured a contemporary idea, concept, or event each student deemed to be significant. The exhibition took place during Friday Night Liberty, a night of open art galleries, cultural performances, and events at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
Throughout the semester, students recognized the connection between one small transition and the next. However, in the end, students recognized and were excited by the big picture. For me, education is about these big picture connections. One of our connections was about communication. Effective communication, be it through photographs or prose, is an art form, and through that art form, students found they could empathize with and learn from the experience of others and share with the world their own experiences and perspectives.
This project taught me how photography can be one of the most effective tools to convey ideas and feelings. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, one picture should be able to convey as much importance as a well thought out short story or a well-constructed essay.
I have learned a lot from this project, but I think it has influenced me mostly by teaching me about different people’s views on things that are important to them. This helped me to better understand others in my class and ultimately, helps our class become closer. Not many projects could have done that.
To learn more, visit http://dp.hightechhigh.org/~lperry