7.14.2009

KIDS WITH CAMERAS: Calcutta

Bengali Moon. Photograph © Kochi, 10 / Kids With Cameras

Babai. Photograph © Kochi, 10 / Kids With Cameras

Photograph © Avijit / Avijit's Postcard Collection

We believe that photography is an effective tool in igniting children's imagination and building self-esteem. We believe in the power of art to transform lives, for both the artist and the viewer.

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BORN INTO BROTHELS, a film by Photographer Zana Briski and Co-Director Ross Kauffman, won the 77th annual Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, Born into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children who lived in the red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers worked as prostitutes.

Zana Briski,
a New York-based photographer, founded Kids With Cameras in 2002, teaching photography to children in Calcutta's red-light district. She gave each of the children a camera and taught them the basics of photography and camera mechanics. Kids With Cameras has since expanded workshops to include Haiti, Jerusalem and Cairo.

The photographs taken by the children are available for purchase in the Kids' Gallery, and also as a signed Limited-Edition Portfolio. 100% of proceeds from sales of the children's prints and book, go directly to support their education and well-being. Archival prints on Somerset paper: 17 x 22 inches, $175 - 36 x 48 inches, $500.

There are also updates on the children on the Kids With Cameras website. One of those children, Avijit, was 11 when he began photographing in the brothels district he lived. "An innately talented artist, he's won many competitions for his paintings. Charismatic and restlessly creative, his images were among the most compelling of the workshop. Avijit was invited by the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam to be part of their Children's Jury in 2002. In 2005, he received a four year high school scholarship to attend an incredible school in America." Avijit has now been accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. To help fund his education expenses, he's selected nine of his photographs taken and combined them into a collection of nine 4 x 6 postcards. You can help Avijit realize his educational goals by purchasing this Postcard Collection. $30. plus shipping and handling.

Purchase Avijit's Postcard Collection here
Kids With Camera's

3 comments:

deborah said...

I had seen something of this on a TV program - PBS or National Geographic or such - absolutely amazing.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

HI ELIZABETH-


This is such a fantastic post!
Pure 'Slumdog'...and people said the film was exaggerated or not true.
Calcutta: it can be a nightmare...

FATE is an interesting thing. I wish this young student great good luck. Please keep his name and talent out there...brilliant post.

Carlos Lorenzo said...

I like your blog. These three photographs are beautiful, specially the last two and how and where they were taken makes them even more special.