The Viewfinder Project is heading to the Arctic in 2014-15! Point Hope, Alaska, to be exact. This will be our first example of incorporating photography & writing together. Stay tuned for details!
Thank you for your interest in and support of The Viewfinder Project. This month we are excited to share with you how The Viewfinder Project is being used in Channai, India.
The Viewfinder Project in Chennai, India
By Niti Moses
How Can You Help?
We are looking for partners.
Here are some options:
1. Sponsor a student $25
2. Buy a Camera $100
3. Sponsor a program $150
4. Start a program in your school, neighborhood, church or other organization
5. Buy TVP products at our NEW Store.
We welcome donations using Paypal
or by making a check out to
“The Viewfinder Project” and sending it to The Viewfinder Project, 6900 S. Gray Road,
Indianapolis, IN 46237.
Come & See
First Friday Show: My Neighborhood, Our City
To benefit the LYN House & Rebuilding the Wall
Hanging through the end of May.
Fletcher Place Arts & Books
Fountain Square – Indianapolis
The event will showcase work by students from LYN House and Rebuilding the Wall TVP programs
A photograph is life distilled and preserved for eternity. An expressive face, a fleeting moment in nature, an abstract shape- these are the fundamentals of photography. A photograph conveys, in a way no words can, a sense of the mystery and beauty of life, nature, and the achievements of mankind.
Being a part of The Viewfinder Project at Sangita Charitable Trust in Chennai, India and facilitating the project brought back a surge of memories of being an ex-student of photography and also a rush of jubilation at being given the opportunity to guide young minds in creating visual artwork. The children, all of them girls, aged between 13-18 yrs were both excited and apprehensive to use a camera in the beginning, but at the end of class were thrilled to share their experience at being able to see the world around them from a different point of view.
Lessons 1 & 2 go hand in hand with one another and have an excellent life skill to impart i.e. to recognize the power within themselves to cause transformation. The word “UGLY” is often associated with something that is displeasing to the eye, something repulsive or objectionable. When the children were given the task of capturing things that were ugly according to them in their surroundings, most of them were more often drawn to things that were broken, dirty or filthy which they felt was a blot on the landscape. The children, not so surprisingly found it much easier to capture what was ugly around them in comparison to what was attractive, pleasing or pleasant. It was not that there was any shortage of things that were beautiful around them, but it had more to do with the fact that sometimes the really ugly things in life take priority over the beautiful things.
At the end of both the lessons I had the opportunity to have a brief discussion with the girls and this gave me a clear insight on how they were applying these lessons to their life situations. They also mentioned things that might be considered ugly but were difficult to photograph like a painful memory or an ugly behavior. The children said they felt more joy in capturing the beauty around them as it reminded them of all their blessings, the people that cared for them and the love surrounding them. They also expressed the desire to eliminate the ugly from their lives and they realized that the choice was in their hands, and, that it takes a concentrated effort to see the good things in life. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the darkness around us. It’s very simple to let anger, hatred, jealousy and mistrust rule our lives. Can we take all of the bad things and let them flow over us and around us and through us and not affect us? Or do we let the darkness overwhelm us and bring us down into its pit?
It was amazing to see that The Viewfinder Project was beyond taking photos but more importantly taught these children that there is a lot in life to be grateful for and there is a lot of beauty in life. They need to focus on those good things and appreciate them and they will see that the negative energy just bounces off of them as if they were wearing an invisible force field of protection. Beauty can be seen in all things. All it requires is to make an effort to shift ones perspective of life. The Viewfinder Project gave them just that.