Rocinha is one of the largest shantytowns (favela) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While it can be described as a community, it is known for the unfortunate history of violence and drug trafficking that is common to many shantytowns. Sadly, many children in Rocinha face limited options and some are drawn into the drug trafficking world or face other problems common to low-income communities, such as crime, domestic abuse, and poor education. The aim of this project is to bring a creative force to the children of Rocinha by introducing them to the world of visual arts through photography.
A group of 10-20 children will be provided with simple, disposable cameras and asked to spend a day photographing life in Rocinha as they view it. The cameras will be developed and selected images from each child will be incorporated into a blog on "Rocinha: images from a child's perspective". This blog will profile the children and their photos and will be updated as the program expands. The ultimate goal of this project is to allow the children to be creative and explore the world in ways they may not have imagined previously. Providing a safe and creative outlet to these children may become a step in preventing them from following less productive and more dangerous choices in life.
The overall goal of this project is to develop a blog that will be turned over to the children where they can create a living story based on their feelings and images living in Rocinha. As each child photographs life as he or she sees it, these photos will become part of the photo-documentary, a living blog that will open the world to what these children experience on a daily basis. One could imagine this blog/documentary as a living series of "day in the life". Yet, it is much more than this as the ability of these children to have contact with others outside of their community is limited and often their choices in life are also limited.
This resulting photography blog and their participation in it will broaden their horizons in ways other projects using music, art, and education have helped other children in similar situations.
The main partner is this project is Renato da Sliva, a resident of Rocinha and the owner/operator of Favela Adventures http://favelatour.org. Besides being a very public face of people who live in Rocinha, Renato is the leader of SPIN ROCINHA, a group that teaches the skills needed to be DJs for dances and parties, skills that can help teens and adults find new means of income.
Our previous attempt at funding this project was canceled due to the fact that we set a goal that may have been unattainable in the timeframe established.
Risks and challenges
There are some minimal risks to this project. First among them is that the children who participate will keep the disposable cameras and not return them. Second is that adults will take pictures instead of the children. Finally, there is always the risk that the pictures will not turn out well. These risks will be minimized by engaging with the parents and the children at a workshop in a local library. The rules of the project will be explained and the key steps to making a good picture will be presented with examples. All parents will be asked to monitor their child and encourage them to take pictures at different times of the day and in different aspects of their life. The fact that the children will see their work on a blog will the reward for following the rules.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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