Zanmi Lakay’s Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto 2012 was phenomenal!
This year we held our second annual Youth Photo Camp, a collaborative community project in Jacmel, where young Haitian photojournalists shoot local daily assignments, learn vital skills, tell stories from a Haitian point of view, and promote progress in their own community.
Joining us again were the staff and students of our partners Kole Zepol from Cité Soleil and Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) based in Jacmel, along with the Fosaj Art Center where our beautiful exhibition is still up through the month of August.
Seven volunteer professional photographers and two technicians came from the U.S. and worked together with our Haitian crew of seven staff and translators to teach and mentor 48 photojournalism students ages 11-23. Our base camp was at ACFFC, and we divided up into three teams, had three computer editing stations, and once again kept our trusty taptap driver Serge very busy.
During the three days of shooting their assignments in and around Jacmel of daily life including the markets, butchers, peasants, rebuilding, mechanics, street games, beaches, sports, rivers, and artisan studios, the student photographers collectively made almost 9000 digital images.
The most profound part of Jouk Li Jou this year was the special Wednesday discussion at the Hotel Cyvadier conference center where students talked about their favorite photos. (During the editing process, every student had chosen a photo that they loved or thought was important.) Images were projected on the front wall, and one by one students stood in front of the entire group, introduced themselves, talked about their work, and took questions. The discussions began simply, and gradually evolved into serious Haitian issues about sanitation, the environment, trash, farming, poverty, and employment. It was an amazing afternoon!!
After all the editing and processing, 65 large prints were made for the final exhibition in the main gallery. An additional 192 images were chosen from extra daily assignments to create three large theme related collages: colors reflecting the environment (the name of each team was their color: yellow, blue, or green), self-portraits, and relationships. Two of our students, Michou Joissaint and Bruno Rene added a mirrored mosaic and special art to the self-portrait collage. We also put together a slideshow of fun outtakes and extra photos taken by students and team leaders that continuously ran during the reception.
The Exhibition Reception on July 27, 2012, at the Fosaj Art Center was a full house and all of the performers of last year were there again to entertain the crowd! It was a fabulous party with the student photojournalists all dressed up, photo subjects, family and friends, the entire Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto team, and local artisans. Included in the performances were drummers, the Gran Lakou dance troupe plus young ACFFC dancers, Vodou dancing, a solo dance by Papouche, there was a women’s theatre group, and the Zel Maturin Kanaval devils by Troupe Flambeau performed all evening. Everyone came to celebrate something beautiful. The crowd was so big we had to do an extra soda and beer run, and the kids enjoyed popcorn. Bon bagay!
We are so proud of all the students!! A huge thank you to everyone who donated time, money, expertise, supplies and equipment to make Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto such a wonderful success! Special thanks to ACFFC, Fosaj Art Center, Hotel Cyvadier, and the people of Jacmel! A standing ovation for our very hard working team of volunteers: Susan Bradley, Chip Chipman, Joshua Curry, Ethan Harte, Chemy Jean Philippe, Erin Lubin, Georges Metellus, Jakub Mosur, Papouche, Joel Petion, and Elayna Yussen!! Thanks as well to Clif Bar, Charity4Life (Jeannette, Jessica and Monika), Cartridge World of San Francisco, Ball Chain Mfg., and the Carte Blanche Gallery. This was quite a big project, and we are so grateful for all the dedicated support!!
Each student made at least one of these 65 images that were printed large for our photography exhibition at the Fosaj Art Center (and each print included a caption card with their photo, age, and translated caption). Enjoy the show!