Charity Exhibition “Trace of my Existence”
â€˜A Trace of My Existenceâ€™ is the first European show by Colombian photography collective Click por los Barrios (Click for the Neighbourhoods), organised in collaboration with Photochats at Chats Palace. These arresting images were taken by children and young people who live in the poorest areas of Colombiaâ€™s second largest city, MedellÃn.
In recent years MedellÃn has reinvented itself as a cosmopolitan centre with major public developments such as the cityâ€™s metro. But in the neighbourhoods that cling to the mountain slopes away from the centre, the presence of poverty and armed groups are still pervasive. â€˜A Trace of My Existenceâ€™ brings us a portrait of the daily lives of the people who live with these threats, and yet maintain some sort of normality as well as their ambition for the future.
Click por los Barrios was set up five years ago by a group of professional documentary and press photographers weary of feeding the media appetite for images of violence. They decided to construct something positive and organised a project to provide photographic training in the most deprived areas of their city. Each photographer adopts a particular area â€“ PacÃfico and El Picacho were among the first â€“ where they set up free workshops for children. In practice students have varied in age from five to twenty-six.
In addition to providing a practical grounding in documentary photography, each group aims to work democratically and to foster mutual respect among students. A high proportion of students come from families displaced by violence and the tutors try to model cooperative forms of behaviour as an alternative to what the students may be witnessing outside classes. Improving the young peopleâ€™s self-esteem is as important as teaching practical skills. The project aims to support students in the long term â€“ with the help of their tutors some have gained grants to continue their education elsewhere.
These photographs taken by the students are unique; they have an intimate access to areas that most professional photographers would avoid and approach their subjects from a different, sometimes surprising, perspective. The images come out of situations of hardship but show huge optimism and energy. Of course many of their concerns are those of young people everywhere â€“ friends, family, their neighbourhood and its characters, just messing around.
All the prints in â€˜A Trace of My Existenceâ€™ are for sale, and proceeds will go to Click por los Barrios.
Hello London Lightstalkers,
you are invited to an opening party from 7 â€“ 10 pm on Thursday May 28 with music, food and drinks.
The exhibition will be open from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm â€“ please contact Chats Palace on 0208 986 6714 to confirm access and for details of evening and weekend opening hours, which are variable.
For enquiries about â€˜A Trace of My Existenceâ€™ contact ZoÃ« Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07772 685 733.
For information about Photochats at Chats Palace contact Peter Young on 0208 533 0226. The Chatâ€™s Palace website can be found at www.chatspalace.com.
How to get there
Chats Palace Arts Centre is a minuteâ€™s walk from Homerton station on the London Overground. The buses 236, 242 and 276 stop very close by. The full address is Chats Palace Arts Centre, 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DF.
Click por los Barrios
The project is currently run by:
Julio CÃ©sar Herrera email@example.com,
Fredy Amariles firstname.lastname@example.org
RaÃºl Soto email@example.com
Any of the tutors can be contacted directly in MedellÃn. If you have any problems making contact, call ZoÃ« Petersen (details above). Click por los Barrios recently published a book in conjunction with the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Sobre Hombros de Gigantes (On the Shoulders of Giants) to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
[a former member]
2009-05-12 14:13:44 UTC