Storytelling and Identity: Photography Workshops for High School Students

What is the injustice we are solving?
Injustice: Reclaiming narrative control for communities whose stories are told for them rather than by them.

With this project I propose to use photography as a platform for individuals and communities to reclaim narrative control. I would like to set up photography workshops at a high school in Boston (Burke High School in Dorchester, a school I worked at last year) and meet once a week after school with students. During these workshops we would work on building the students' photography skills while exploring photography as a tool for telling their stories. The longterm aim of the workshops would be to provide a space for students to reclaim narrative control of their own lives, identities, and stories, and to provide them with the tools for doing so.
Our Compassionate Solution
To solve this injustice of
unbalanced power and racism in Boston communities
we will address
the issue of who has narrative control
organizing photography workshops for high school students in BPS in order to build skills in visual storytelling.
Our Plan
Our Project Goals
Reach out to the Burke High School to confirm if I can be an after-school partner to engage students in this project.
Develop a curriculum for the school year.
Find a location where students can develop their film themselves. Figure out after-school transportation.
Reach out to local businesses to donate camera supplies by February 28th.
Provide students with the supplies to complete these projects: film cameras, film, photo paper, etc.
Go to the Burke after-school once a week to engage students in 1-1.5 hour long workshops in camera fluency, project assignments, and studies of how photography can be a tool for social justice.
Help students develop a sense of self-empowerment and self-efficacy through photography!
Create a list of key steps you will take
Meet with a current service partner at the Burke High School to figure out logistics of being an after-school partner.
Reach out to administrators at the Burke High School by March 30th to confirm if I can be an after-school partner to engage students in this project.
Develop a curriculum for the school year by February 28th.
Apply for a mini-grant.
Figure out cost of supplies by February 9th.
Reach out to local businesses and larger corporations to request donations of cameras, equipment, and film supplies by February 9th.
RaulPF C.

February 09, 2018

Hi Elle,
I am part of the Peace First team and I wanted to provide you with some feedback related to your project insight.
I really, really like the way that you are trying to address a root cause that is overlooked a lot of the time. Do you already have connections with the schools you want to start running the workshops with?
I would love to see how your project evolves!
Fish S.

December 11, 2017

Hey Elle -- love these project goals. Anything we can do to help?
Fish S.

November 21, 2017

Hi Elle -- sounds like an awesome project. Love the idea of giving students narrative control by helping them develop storytelling skills through photography. Do you have a curriculum you plan to follow? Can we help with that?

We're ready to support your project however we can -- including through mini-grants of up to $250! -- so let us know where you need help.
Elle E.

November 27, 2017

I don't currently have a curriculum planned, but I was a part of a similar photography course in high school and I was thinking about following what I did then as a baseline. I want to start by building a skillset and reviewing photography basics, and then build with photography as a platform for social justice and how they can use it as a tool. I would definitely love receiving help with planning that curriculum though!
Fish S.

November 29, 2017

Hi Elle, sounds awesome. Love that you're starting with what you know. We'd be happy to help you plan out the curriculum. How long/how many sessions do you think it will last?
Elle E.

December 01, 2017

I'm hoping to do it through the course of a school year, so an hour once a week for 30~ weeks!