For each of our workshops, we partner with a local NGO to help plan things on the ground. By working with a local organization, we have the infrastructure in place to help us make the workshop happen and who will be able to work with our fledgling photographers after the workshop is over. The first two days before the workshop, we work closely with the NGO staff to determine which programs and themes are of central importance to the organization, and that could provide our students with interesting subjects to capture. This allows to take our students to see interesting initiatives and to practice their technical and journalistic skills in a real-life situation. In the past, this has taken our workshops to early childhood development (ECD) schools, support centers for those who are differently-abled, vocational workshops, health centers, institutions for sustainable agriculture and many other varied programs. This workshop is no different and our students are going to visit ECDs, power plants, diagnostic health centers, dentistry clinics, and entrepreneurs benefiting from microfinance initiatives.
And today, we got into the meat of it- our kids went everywhere! In the morning, Fred, Tony and Wendy’s groups traveled to local diagnostic health centers and a hospital currently under construction, while Mike’s group visited a newly opened dentistry clinic (those guys have NEVER been so psyched to go to the dentist). After a vigorous morning of photography, the groups headed back to the school to eat lunch, download and edit their images, charge their batteries, and get ready for the evening before they headed out to a second location.
Once again, the groups split up, with the goal of photographing the role of energy in the development in the rural areas of Badakshan region. Mike’s group headed out to an evening shoot of a large new hydroelectric generator station, while Fred’s group went to the older, smaller station in town. Wendy’s and Tony’s group headed out to different homes in the communities to photograph all of that energy in use. It was a long finish to an already long day, but all of the locations were exciting, and each provided unique challenges for the students to deal with. Shooting in low light or in tight spaces, the students had to tell the complete story of energy in a few photographs. It was a challenging shoot, but the students rose to the occasion and captured these themes and stories brilliantly!
After we returned from our locations, we all downloaded our images and edited them, and will critique in the morning. For now, we are going to bed.