In July 2013, I began holding photography classes for children of Red Nose Foundation in Cilincing and Bintaro Lama. Why? Because photography is a fun and creative activity for the kids to experiment with and I needed a good reason the be out in the slums, spending time in a part of Jakarta that most bules (foreigners) generally wouldn’t make time to visit.
Additionally, photography is also a powerful means of communication – it allows the person behind the camera to capture events, objects, places and people in time. It allows the photographer to document a story and share that story with others. I wanted very badly to give the children an opportunity to communicate what their world was like for themselves and I wanted them to start thinking about the fact they had a voice and a right to be heard.
And so, with just a few donated digital cameras, the kids wandered through the village in search of subjects to photograph.
The results far exceeded my expectations and it was a real pleasure for me, as a communications specialist, to watch the kids make the most of the opportunity to experience the fun and story telling capabilities of photography for themselves.
A report about the Kids With Cameras project was broadcast on Australia’s ABC radio on the Correspondents Reports on November 3, 2013. Listen to the report here: Correspondents Report with Elizabeth Jackson.