The Why Here/Why Now Project has an opportunity to take the idea of sense of place and community documentation into the schools, working with Mills Lawn Elementary students in the After School Enrichment Program.
The class will run for 7 weeks in the Spring session, with an introductory open-house taking place on April 14th. More information will be available from MLS with the full schedule of Spring offerings.
From Where I Stand
A Sense of Place Photography Project
This after school arts program is a fun introduction to sense of place photography for kids. Proving that it is actually more fun to create media than it is to passively consume it, this class will give kids a chance to document the Mills Lawn School grounds from their own point of view. Camera and audio-recorder in hand, kids will work with Brooke Bryan, a new media folklorist and journalist, to locate what is unique and special about the place they call “school.”
And it doesn’t stop with the collection. Students will post a brief bio and their favorite photograph, with a recorded explanation, on the website of the Why Here/Why Now Project (www.whyherewhynow.org), an ongoing digital time capsule featuring the place and people of Yellow Springs. This valuable experience will leave kids empowered and inspired about the place they live, with a heightened sense of ownership and responsibility to their community.
*Model & Photography Release required
We will start with talking about the idea of place, or why thinking of a street lined with palm trees feels differently than a snowcapped mountaintop ridge or a field of wheat surrounded by grey skies. We will view pictures from different geographical regions, and talk about how photography of place can evoke feelings within us.
Next, we’ll take stock of our place in southwestern Ohio. What kind of landscapes (both natural and built) make the backdrop for our daily life? How do we feel about these things? We will look at trees, plants, local architecture, the playground structures, and the sky.
Once we have located what it is that makes our place unique from other landscapes, we will shoot pictures together as a group, finding interesting angles that explore the vantage point of the person who holds the camera. The pictures will tell the rest of us what this place looks like from where kids stand.
And if that wasn’t enough fun, we’ll spend the rainy days getting a snapshot of each student and writing a brief bio, because each student will choose their favorite picture for posting here, on the Why Here/Why Now Project site as a special contribution in the din of voices on what this town is and ought to be.
Should be fun!