June 2008

Photo by Rose Magno
The photography project aims to introduce children and youth of Timor Leste - afflicted by the cycle of conflict and development challenges of their country - a cathartic medium for self-expression.

Words are not always adequate or sufficient for young people to articulate their emotions especially those resulting from traumatic experiences. Giving them opportunity for an alternative and creative outlet - through the lens of a camera and visual narrative – enables them to process their negative feelings and possibly transform them into envisioning positive changes in their personal development and their environment.

Photographer and photo editor, Rose Magno, in partnership with local NGO - Ba Futuru, led the two-month workshop with 21 children and youth at-risk teaching basic photography and photo editing elements as well as engaging and inspiring them to see the world around them in a new light.

I told them the adage 'A picture is worth a thousand words'.
They smiled. They understood.

Using only disposable cameras, these children and youth - most of whom have never taken a picture before - ventured out and brought back compelling interpretations on themes such as love, identity, community, peace, conflict transformation, and hopes and dreams for their future.

Engaging them in a dialogue, as they shared and reflected their visual narratives with their peers, encouraged them to slowly open up as well as listen to what the other has to say. Bringing together both children and youth in this workshop provided an opportunity for both groups to exchange views, to foster respect and inspire civic leadership.

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