Photography project designed to bring out life from students

A recent photography exhibit is proving that success can be found if youth are provided with a chance to focus on the positive.

Maria Buffalo

A recent photography exhibit is proving that success can be found if youth are provided with a chance to focus on the positive and given an opportunity.

A project called Photovoice that involved 11 youth from 15 to 19 years of age being provided their own camera to shoot whatever they wanted has recently exhibited the artistic product created by the young photographers.

Manisha Khetarpal, chair of library studies and scholarly research at Maskwacis Cultural College, put together the project with the partnership of the University of Alberta Department of Pediatrics and the Nehiyaw Kakeskewina Learning Society in Maskwacis after the elders and community members recognized the need to address negative perceptions.

“It was really about portraying that the present and our future is our youth,” said Khetarpal.

“We wanted to be proactive and there are a lot of talented young people here that can learn, if they are given the opportunity, that they can do anything that they want in life.”

She added that Photovoice encouraged the youth to promote their own strong identity along with the strengths of themselves and their community.

“The photos that they all took really show the similarities that there is between the youth (here) and those in any community, that we shouldn’t be placing labels on things or people. It was that focus of projecting a positive image that they all succeed in doing,” Khetarpal said.

One young woman, Maria Buffalo, got involved because she really wanted to learn photography and show off what she sees.

“What attracted me was what we never see can be something special. The entire concept of my show was that there is beauty out there, but we need to look for it,” said Buffalo, a 15-year-old student at Ermineskin Junior-Senior High School and a member of the Samson Cree Nation during the photo exhibit held at Maskwacis Cultural College on Wednesday, July 13.

Her favourite shot is one she took of some berries that she still doesn’t know what kind they are, but that isn’t what really matters.

“This photo really helped me understand a lot about composition. Red is my favourite colour and there is just a simple beauty about it,” added Buffalo, who is planning to study film and literature at university followed by going to the prestigious Vancouver Film Academy. Her dream is to be among the first Indigenous filmmakers nominated for an Academy Award.

Khetarpal also explained they also used the project as an opportunity to implement an OER (Open Educational Resources) program that uses freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media for use in teaching, learning, assessment and research.

“The advantage is that it’s all free plus the documents and textbooks are flexible and can be adapted for the student and how they learn,” she said.

Some of the photographs will be on display at Wetaskiwin Hospital, the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, the University of Alberta Hospital After Hours gallery along with permanent displays at the Red Deer Hospital and the Maskwacis Health Centre.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

WCPS, STAR Catholic raise busing fees

Both school divisions hike fees to compensate for budget changes

$2 raise for some health care workers in Alberta over a month late

Delay isn’t from Alberta Health, spokesperson confirms

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

On the spot where George Floyd died, his brother urges calm

On the spot where George Floyd died, his brother urges calm

Trump threatens military force against protesters nationwide

Trump threatens military force against protesters nationwide

Raptors guard VanVleet says people ‘fed up’ with racism and discrimination

Raptors guard VanVleet says people ‘fed up’ with racism and discrimination

Canada’s Davies helps Bayern top Fortuna 5-0 to take 10-point Bundesliga lead

Canada’s Davies helps Bayern top Fortuna 5-0 to take 10-point Bundesliga lead

Canada’s Olympic, Paralympic athletes get $5 million upon return to sport

Canada’s Olympic, Paralympic athletes get $5 million upon return to sport

NHL plans to test players for COVID-19 daily if games resume

NHL plans to test players for COVID-19 daily if games resume

Ottawa 67’s head coach Andre Tourigny named CHL coach of the year

Ottawa 67’s head coach Andre Tourigny named CHL coach of the year

Most Read