ALL VOICES MATTER
During the fall semester, students in Chute Middle School’s Advanced Media Arts class explored themes of social justice and identity through a PhotoVoice Project. KIDS Global Network, Inc., local photographer Yancey Hughes, and the Evanston Public Library partnered with Chute Media Arts teacher Sherri Kushner to bring PhotoVoice to the students. PhotoVoice is an internationally recognized participatory photo method in which students use cameras to document their lives and share their experiences. Through the program, students explored issues such as race, gun violence and bullying, and how social justice relates to their own lives.
Students first experimented with their iPad cameras to do portraits and explore lighting and backgrounds. They started to learn the difference between “looking” and “seeing” with their cameras. They learned techniques in Photoshop to edit their photos. In order to choose an issue that they were passionate about we asked them to write about issues that were important to them. Students crafted an artist statement and then found ways to photograph what they wanted to speak out about.
They also studied how famous artists use photography as a social justice tool to speak out about what they stand for and make their voices heard in the community.
The process culminated in an exhibition at the Evanston Public Library featuring one photo and artist statement for each student.