Zambia Photography Workshop
To be featured in November issue of Smithsonian Magazine
At the end of June 2007, NYC-based Photographer Klaus Schoenwiese returned from Zambia with 150 rolls of workshop student film after successfully leading an independent workshop at the 'Chishawasha Children's Home and School' just outside of Zambia's capital Lusaka.
Chishawasha is an orphanage founded by American activist Kathe Padilla in 1999 after she witnessed first-hand how AIDS, malaria, drought and starvation have left over 2 million Zambian children to struggle on their own. Chishawasha began by providing food and shelter to sixteen orphans in a rented house in Lusaka. With the support of its sister organization, the U.S.-based Zambian Children's Fund, Chishawasha moved to the outskirts of the capital where Kathe continued to grow the orphanage into a small hands-on, but full-fledged, humanitarian organization that provides the children with education, health care, job training, and other support services.
Inspired by Kids with Cameras, Klaus facilitated an intensive 3-week photography workshop for twelve children from Chishawasha. The workshop goals, aside from having fun, were to discover photography as a tool for self-expression and visual transformation, as well as to use photography as a medium to connect one's life experience to the outside world.
Prior to this workshop, children at the Chishawasha Orphanage had none or very few mementos of their own childhood experiences and personal history. Workshop excursions to relatives’ homes, and exploration of significant places and the kids' daily surroundings proved to be fertile ground to nourish his students' desires for a visual record of themselves.
Klaus also taught visual literacy in three classroom sessions, thereby including an additional 30 students who were later given hands-on camera instruction by his twelve 'student teachers' in the last days before his departure. All participants now own a personal photo album. Each workshop student is entrusted with a camera they willingly share with those who earn their trust.
At the end of the three weeks, Klaus and his students organized a beautiful final show at Chishawasha's own school where friends, relatives and members of the surrounding community were invited to come and see for themselves.
This November, the workshop will be featured in Smithsonian Magazine. Starting on November 01, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s print and web edition, the children’s artwork can be viewed and purchased online as gallery-quality photo art, custom-made in NYC's Photo District. National exhibitions are planned. Eventually Klaus would like to return to Zambia, mount a high-level exhibition in Lusaka and offer a workshop for digital photography at Chishawasha's planned skill center.
Kids with Cameras is a proud supporter of the Zambia Workshop and we're accepting online donations. Your contribution will make planned exhibitions possible and benefit Chishawasha's future educational offerings. Please contact Klaus directly if you have questions about the Zambia workshop. Thank you in advance!
Images from the Zambia Workshop