New Triple Exposure Post: Beautiful Portraits from the Old City

Check out the latest post by TYO Intern Mathilda on the Triple Exposure website!

I took the Triple Exposure basic photography kids on their first class trip to the beautiful Old City of Nablus to take some pictures. Some of them had not been before, despite living nearby. Using the DSLR cameras they snapped whatever they found interesting, but also plenty of portraits, which was our topic of the week! Here are some of the best shots of the day.

Click to see the beautiful portraits taken by the kids in the Triple Exposure beginning photo class!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Week in Review

The weekend weather was intense. We baked during our six hour desert hike through the arid canyons and ridges of Wadi Qelt. We snaked along the elevation of an old aqueduct to our final destination: the 5th century Greek Orthodox monastery of St. George.

Following our incredible Saturday hike, last Sunday felt like the busiest one yet: our usual morning meetings, a trip to Balata refugee camp, our first Arabic lesson and teaching community English.

Balata is the largest refugee camp in the West Bank, and one of the most densely populated areas on earth. The narrow labyrinth of alleyways between the concrete block houses, some barely the width of one person, brought to life the living conditions experienced by the camp’s thirty thousand plus residents. At TYO, we aim to provide a safe space for childhood play and informal education – a separate place where kids from the camps and other neighbourhoods can mix and simply be kids.

 

On Monday in my photography class, I printed out 22 different portraits and had the kids discuss them in groups. Next, in front of a semi-circle of their classmates, they had to present their chosen photo and talk about what made the photo interesting.  Even the shy managed to summon forth comments on colour or perspective after a few coaxing questions. In reward for their efforts, out came the DSLRs they’d been promised the week before.

The last ten minutes of the class was a maelstrom of flashes and camera swaps. Out of the chaos and running around emerged the students’ portraits of each other, the variety of backgrounds and poses that were laudable in the context of a single classroom. As the minutes counted down until the end of class, the local boys’ poses got bigger and bolder and more collaborative. It’s clear to see they enjoy being in front of the camera just as much as being behind it.

See our photo of the week at the Triple Exposure blog!

- Mathilda

Mathilda is an intern at TYO Nablus.

Goodbye for now

Check out the latest post from the Triple Exposure website below!

These are the students from my advanced photography class, who have brightened my day on a weekly basis since June of last year. They started as beginning photo students – we traveled around Nablus and the West Bank together, learning how to use the camera to capture the beauty of the land and their own special places within it. Over the summer months, they showed me their homes, play times, and images of loved ones lost through the photos they took with their cameras. In the fall we moved into film in the advanced photography class. They made two films: one about a journalist confronting resistance from Israeli soldiers when attempting to cover events in Bethlehem, the other about a poor family in Nablus supported by the labor of the young son. On the lighter side, together we had fun making mini-documentaries about cooking. :) I will miss seeing them in class, hearing them express their thoughts, seeing their laughs, receiving their inquisitive phone calls, having them barge into my office as soon as school was over.

I’m teaching a new group of students this spring, but I hope the beautiful kids below will be back at TYO in the summer for a photography camp! Goodbye for now, guys…

– Doris, Project Coordinator

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure blog!

Check out the photo of the week posted by TYO intern Mathilda on the Triple Exposure blog:

(Just a sneak preview! Click here to see the full photo.)

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure blog!

Check out the photo of the week posted by TYO intern Mathilda on the Triple Exposure blog:

(Just a sneak preview! Click here to see the full photo.)

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Taking it all in

After a thankfully thorough week of orientation and training, we have completed our first two days of classes. As the days go by, I’m increasingly getting a feel for the rhythm of my week, the TYO centre, and a taste of life in Nablus. The working week begins on Sundays, and our days are punctuated by the now familiar call to prayer echoing out across the valley which holds this ancient city.

I taught my first class with fellow intern Leila – fitness for the mums. The women are so friendly and inquisitive, seeming to enjoy Leila’s lively kickboxing introduction and counting down the beat in flawless Arabic, but were soon distracted by the dramatic and deafening hailstorm outside that seemed to come out of nowhere. I hope to have them all doing Sun Salutations by the end of the course…

After lunch, the kids for the afternoon classes began to arrive in dribs and drabs from their respective areas, allowing me the chance to personally meet each child that was entering my basic photography class for Triple Exposure.

After a little warming up I explained (with the invaluable assistance of my local translator, Waleed),   to the students how to use the basic functions of the DSLR cameras, and had them take each others’ portraits, before setting about on the scavenger hunt game in teams. The team to find and photograph the most objects off the list given at the start, wins.
They ran around the TYO centre with their volunteers in tow, taking turns to capture the random objects listed – some harder than others!
The kids really enjoyed the competition, and two latecomers said they wanted more time to take photos, but I suggested they make sure to come to the rest of the classes and try harder to be on time!

Working at TYO is like juggling. With all these balls in the air and only two hands to catch with, you’ve got to be ready to switch things up if things don’t quite go to plan. Intern Coordinator Chelsey had been sure  to forewarn us that flexibility is key here. With bad weather hampering attendance for my first basic photography class – I ended up with as many local volunteers as children, when they should have been outnumbered by at least three to one! But my volunteers were patient, helpful and very happy to get involved.

This first week for me has been about taking it all in. It’s my first time in the Middle East. On the one hand I’m absorbing like a sponge all the new information, people and environment, whilst simultaneously trying to be creative, productive and give classes. It’s a stimulating process but also quite tiring. Needless to say, after bouncing so many ideas around and off each other, we’re all getting early nights to be organised and full of energy for our kids the next day.

- Mathilda

Mathilda is an intern at TYO Nablus.

Triple Exposure Update: Investing in Youth

To give you an update on how our Triple Exposure project is going, let me tell you the story of Mahmoud Aghbar. Mahmoud is 14 and lives in the same neighborhood where TYO is located, which means he is free to stop by whenever he wants! He joined our photography class in the Fall of 2009 and the last time I saw him was last week, when he popped into my office to ask when classes would begin again (we’re currently on a short break in between the fall and spring sessions at TYO). Mahmoud took to photography immediately – after only four months of class, his beautiful photo of a man walking in the rain was selected for first prize in the Waleed Photography Magazine Young Photographers’ Competition! Though we took on a new batch of photo students in the Summer of 2010, Mahmoud asked if he could keep coming to class as a volunteer; since then he has helped me teach photography and film to kids as old as and sometimes older than himself. He loves using computers and is my go-to for help when teaching the kids how to edit their photos and films. He’s not always available to come help out – like far too many young Palestinian kids, Mahmoud spends his spare time (particularly during the summer) working to help his family. But he’s been continuing to work on his photography, using the camera that he won from the competition, and last year he came to my office with a particular question.

“Doris, how can I go to visit America?” I answered that there are a number of programs that will invite and pay for young Palestinians to visit the U.S. “Okay, how can I apply?” I told him: “I’m sorry, Mahmoud, you have to speak very good English to participate in these programs.”

“Okay, can you teach me English?” We started English lessons twice a week. Soon his cousins and friends came to join the class as well, and I work to help them develop conversation and comprehension skills.

This is how Triple Exposure has progressed since its beginning in 2009. Our emphasis on working with the same children for years at a time has helped us really get to know them, to learn their hopes and ambitions and to help them grow as leaders, as self-initiators, as voices (and maybe someday ambassadors!) to the outside world. At the “Suwarna” Children’s Photography Exhibition in Ramallah last year, Mahmoud was interviewed by a Turkish TV channel: “I feel very proud to have won the contest, and I dream of becoming a photographer or a journalist like the ones who come to visit our class,” Mahmoud told the correspondent.

To see more Mahmoud’s photography and learn how you can get involved with Triple Exposure at TYO, visit: http://www.tripleexposure.net.

Nablus through the eyes of her children

Photo by Majd from Khallet al-Amood

The young photographers and artists who attended TYO’s “Triple Exposure” classes this fall are proud to present to you their depictions of what it means to be a Palestinian child living in Nablus. As you take some time to reflect at the end of the year, pause and take a look at the lives of these children, framed through the images they have chosen to present to you. Attend a birthday party, kick around a football on the streets of the refugee camp, hang out in the family store, spend time with grandma — we encourage you to get to know these children whom we have had the privilege of teaching, playing with, and learning from over the past three months. You will soon fall in love with them and their families, just as we did.

The photographs taken by Abrar, Noor, Yaseen, Mohammed, and many more are now available for viewing on the Triple Exposure website, under “student artwork.” Below is a shot of the mural the young artists painted this fall, with more photos to follow!

The fourth mural produced by the kids of Triple Exposure!

– Doris, Project Coordinator

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

The Kalimatna Initiative Presents “This is Nablus!”

Over the course of 2010, seven American and three Palestinian youth worked together to document the city of Nablus through photography and videos of the people, places and things that make it special. The following  multimedia presentation is the final result of the Kalimatna project.

Check out “This is Nablus!” on Prezi!

 

The Kalimatna Initiative, meaning “our words” in Arabic, is a youth-led cultural diplomacy project whose goal is to introduce the culture of Nablus, Palestine, to the world.

Guest photographer visits photography class

Visit the post by TYO Intern Adrienne on the Triple Exposure website:

Hassan and photo student Ameer discuss the beauty of photographs taken at sunset

As an American intern teaching the Beginning Photography class at TYO this semester, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the 20 boys and girls in my class and having the chance to expose them to the joys of digital photography. It’s been a great experience because the kids, ordinarily loud and crazy, become instantly focused when handed a camera to work with.

In order to show them that photography can become a life-long hobby or even a useful job skill, we invited a professional photographer from the local community to come and speak to our class. Hassan Qamhia (http://www.flickr.com/photos/qamhia/), a professor at An-Najah University in Nablus and a budding professional photographer, visited us on Monday, November 29, and entertained the students with a slideshow of his beautiful photos taken around Nablus.

He also gave the kids some hands-on photography lessons. Everyone present greatly enjoyed Hassan’s presentation and gave him a resounding “Shukran” (thank you) at the end of class!

The photo class thanks Hassan for his visit!

– Adrienne

Adrienne (pictured second from right above) is an intern with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization. Originally from Ithaca, New York, she teaches the basic photography class with Triple Exposure.

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers