by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
“Every great achievement is the victory of a flaming heart” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), American Essayist, Philosopher and Poet
It has been a real pleasure to teach photo journalism to a group of youth in the East who have missed so much due to the three decades long war in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, it has been extremely challenging for me because the technology was new to all of them.
They were disconnected from the world and the development of information technology. All they knew was about the 30 years of bitter war and the aftermath. But they were enthusiastic to learn and be part of the challenge.
The Photo Voice Teams were selected from Kalkuda, Kaluwankerny, Paalaiyadiththoona, Poonochchimunai and Puthukkudiyiruppu from Batticaloa district Kaaraitheevu, Ninthavur, Oluvil, Periyaneelaavanai and Saainthamruthu from Ampara district. These youth were trained for nearly one year on the field in their own villages.
Terre des homes has provided the youth with camera,professional training and guidance on handling still cameras, light, angles, composition, capture various moments, write caption and make a photo journal. They have identified many issues related to their respective villages and taken photos regarding one or more issues.
Photo exhibitions were held in nine villages in Batticaloa and Ampara district during the last week of April 2010.Many visited their exhibitions and made encouraging comments which paved way to the Photo Voice Teams in every village to continue their work with courage. It was a great success to all of us!
The Photo Voice Teams shared their views and thoughts with me after the exhibition. They are as follows:
“Photojournalism was new to us, but we leant a lot and we like to expand our interest” – Saainthamaruthu Photo Voice Team.
“Photojournalism is an interesting tool; we will continue to use it to identify the issues in our village” – Ninthavur Photo Voice Team.
“It is a new experience, which we enjoyed by doing it” – Kaluwankerny Photo Voice Team.
“We are motivated and we are thrilled about it” – Puthukkudiyiruppu Photo Voice Team.
“We are enthusiastic to learn more and practice it” – Paalaiyadiththoona Photo Voice Team.
“We are excited to see that we can speak our issues through photos” – Kalkuda Photo Voice Team.
“We never thought that photos can be very power tool, we want to make use of it” – Kaaraitheevu Photo Voice Team.
“Photojournalism can capture little things which can be long lasting memories” – Periyaneelaavanai Photo Voice Team.
“We as a team managed to achieve our goal and we are happy” –
Poonochchimunai Photo Voice Team.
Painting by the youth in Kalkuda
Kids in Kalkuda climbing on timber log to play the traditional game during the Tamil Sinhala New Year
A house damaged by the war in Kaluwankerny