As many of my readers know, I led two photography workshops for kids from marginalized Roma/Gypsy communities in Bulgaria in the summer of 2010. Even in today’s European Union, Roma people still experience rejection and isolation from the mainstream society. Their culture is ignored and their voice is unheard. Kids don’t have the social and educational opportunities and often don’t even know what life looks like for the rest of their peers.
The workshops aimed to empower Roma kids by giving them the opportunity of self expression, the voice to show their point of view to the rest of society and the joy of being heard by others. They are called “Third Eye” to honor the concept of the third eye as a symbol of enlightenment in the Indian tradition, where Roma people came from centuries ago, and to remind us all of the power of photography to capture the elusive.
This endeavor happened through the enthusiasm of many people who donated cameras, contributed ideas and support. The kids’ work was exhibited in Sofia, Bulgaria as well as Texas. They were excited that their photographs were seen by so many other people. See their work at the workshops website: http://tretooko.wordpress.com
With the summer approaching, I am planning the next series of workshops in three Roma communities.
Do you have old, unused point & shoot cameras? They could work miracles in the hands of Roma/Gypsy kids this summer – and help change their world. Your contribution of digital cameras you no longer use is greatly appreciated!