Photovoice Exhibit on Display in GCU Library

March 02, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

Photographs taken by nine refugee teenagers involved in a collaborative community project are now on display at the GCU Library.

The Photovoice exhibit features the work of middle-school and high-school students from the Canyon Corridor. The project involved TERROS Behavioral Health Services, the COPE Coalition, the Canyon Corridor Community Coalition, the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Housing.

Photovoice participant Olivia.

The teens attended nine weeks of classes taught by Jak Keyser and took photos last summer. All of them live in the Serrano Village apartment complex on Camelback Road, east of campus.

“This is completely their voice,” Keyser said of the exhibit, which includes about four dozen photos and will remain on display for two or three months.

“Their concept of neighborhood is their apartment. I think they enjoyed learning a technical skill.”

The students originally are from Nepal, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Tanzania and Ivory Coast. Keyser said a similar project was done previously in Chicago and Britain.

Grant money was used to purchase five cameras for the participants. The photos are accompanied by text written by the teens themselves.

Olivia Bukuru, 13, a seventh-grader at Cordova Middle School who moved to Phoenix a year ago from Zimbabwe, said she enjoyed learning the nuances of photography.

“You have to take care of the camera,” she said. “You need to know how to be correct when you take a picture. When you have a picture of a friend, you keep it so you can see them again.”

Jeffrey Welch, a prevention coordinator with TERROS, said there was a bigger picture involved.

“The goal was to promote a positive activity and to keep kids away from drugs,” he said.

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