Eight days. Twenty students. A new language that will last a lifetime.
The Fredric Roberts Photography Workshops are led by the award-winning photographer as he brings his passion for storytelling through still images to high school aged students in Third World countries. With assistance from a faculty of world-class photographers and teachers, each workshop trains a group of 20 students, half from rural areas and half from urban households, half boys and half girls. Over the course of each eight-day workshop, using a format developed by Mr. Roberts, the participants learn professional photographic techniques and take photographs centering on particular themes, such as the environment, health issues, education, civil society and pluralism. Images from the workshops can be seen on the Gallery Page of this website.
When each workshop ends, Mr. Roberts donates four professional-level cameras plus sophisticated photo software so that participants can continue to develop their skills. He also works with local partners to train staff and secure photographers from each country who participate in the workshop and continue to mentor the novice photographers. He uses a private Facebook page so that students can continue to submit their work for comments from the faculty and other students around the world, to improve their skills and continue their photographic education. This well-developed and strongly supported process of continuing education, amplified by a series of Advanced workshops, is a unique and distinguishing element of this program.
He established the first Fredric Roberts Photography Workshops in 2011 and 2012 in India, and embarked on a continuation of these workshops across the world. The first of these took place in Bhutan in January 2014, followed by Nicaragua in May 2014 and Tajikistan in October 2014. In January 2015, the original students from Bhutan returned for a special advanced workshop. Several of those students were then selected as teaching assistants for a new workshop of 20 beginners. A similar pattern was followed in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in June 2015, Hyderabad, India in October 2015 and March 2017, Toronto in March 2016 and August 2017, and Lisbon in September 2016 and March 2018.
Additional workshops were held in Los Angeles in January 2016, Mombasa in June 2018 and Monterrey (Mexico) in August 2018, Athens in June 2019 and Toronto, for the fourth time, in August 2019. Then, on to Maputo in Mozambique in November 2019 and back to Monterrey Mexico in January 2020. Plans were finalized to go to Hunza/Gilgit in Pakistan in May 2020, Da Nang in Vietnam in August 2020 and return to Hyderabad in October 2020, all of which were postponed by the Pandemic. Normally, we return to each of our locations every two years to conduct an Advanced workshop for previous students and a Beginners workshop for 20 new students.
In January 2019, at the invitation of the Lt. Governor of Ontario, Canada, our students from Toronto had a special exhibition of their work related to The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The exhibition opened on January 23 at the Lt. Governor’s Suite of the Legislative Building at Queen’s Park in Toronto. In May 2016, a comprehensive collection of students’ photographs from around the world was exhibited at The Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Center in Toronto, coinciding with The Contact Photo Festival.