The Need to Look Out Loud
In a world in which we let our differences define us more than our similarities, fear of the unknown builds barriers between peoples and cultures. Something that binds us together is that each individual has a unique and valuable story to tell and an interest in hearing the stories of others. There is a need to hear and connect these stories so that we can learn from each other rather than relying on the media to paint each picture for us.
In our ever-global and technological world it is becoming more and more possible to hear and connect voices of those around the world who had previously been drowned out by media, and most importantly, a lack of resources.
The Look Out Loud Project is a global Photovoice endeavor in which individuals will be asked to tell their own stories through photography in order to spark critical thought and discussion about assets and issues in their communities.
Our goal is to use our collective passions for photography, community work and activism to give basic training in photography and storytelling to project participants. We will gain a window into their lives and help share their visual ethnographies with a wider audience, connecting the communities we work with to each other via social media and email.
Our first stop is the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) in Jamkhed, India, our pilot program to which we will connect subsequent projects and communities. We are currently continuing old and building new relationships with other NGOs and classrooms in the United States and abroad and plan to get this right with 3-5 organizations around the world. With that, we are still looking for more organizations that would be interested in welcoming us into their communities for a Photovoice project!
Photovoice is a project in which individuals learn the basics of photography and storytelling and then share their own stories using photos. The photographs are then discussed and conversations about issues and assets in the community are started in one of the first steps towards social change.
So often the stories of marginalized individuals and communities have been told by outsiders – if they’re told at all. Those who have power and resources at their disposal often speak so loudly that the voices of others are drowned out. Photovoice is an effort to balance conversation by valuing the stories of the previously unheard.
Collectively, we have had much experience working with Photovoice in Honduras*, the Philippines, India, and Burlington, NC and we truly believe in the power of this process. But during the next year with the Look Out Loud project, we want to take photovoice to the next level.
*Check out the website of the Honduras project here! http://lensesarelouderthanwordspronino.weebly.com
Over the next year we will be:
- Sharing photography techniques and philosophies in our Photovoice workshops in each location we visit. We will be leaving cameras and training individuals to continue these workshops so that these programs can be sustained into the future.
- Facilitating discussions based on the photographs taken by project participants
- Adding weekly updates to our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These weekly updates will include photos of the week, stories, photographer bios and video updates on our adventures and progress.
- Connecting community members among our Look Out Loud locations with each other as well as with partners and classrooms in the United States.
This is a multi-faceted project. We are not creating a shiny new product for all of you backers out there. Instead, we are inviting you to be part of something much bigger and potentially more rewarding. By investing in the Look Out Loud Project, you are investing in your own education and the education of others.Here are just a few of are some of the possible outcomes we expect to achieve:
- Photography exhibits in each community after completion of the project.
- Sustainable Photovoice projects in each community we worked with.
- Multimedia photo and video exhibits after returning to the States
- Series of documentary shorts that chronicle each of our Look Out Loud location experiences to be debuted online.
- Photo book with pictures and stories from participants around the world
- Most importantly, a GLOBAL conversation that transcends borders, bridges communities and creates a platform for relational education.
A project of this nature needs monetary support but just as importantly what we need is each of you to take personal stake in our project’s success. We are looking for collaborators, soundboards and sources of inspiration through followers on our blog, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail updates.
What support could look like for you:
- Monetary donations of ANY amount!
- In-kind-donations in the form of airline miles, cameras, software (for these types of support please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Forwarding this Kickstarter link to anyone who might be interested in our project
- Following, sharing, and commenting on our Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates
Where the Funds will Go
For now we just need the startup equipment to get the project going. You won’t be funding our food or housing – we’re working all summer to save up.
- Camera Equipment
- Audio Equipment -Computer/Computer Software for video editing
- Point & Shoot cameras to donate to each NGO we work with
- Chai Tea (only kidding….sort of)
We see big potential for Photovoice, and the Look Out Loud Project is just the starting point. This year we will be exploring different forums in which Photovoice can be used as a tool for education and community development. There is room for infinite growth here through the utilization of the web.
We envision a free application that can be used as an educational tool both inside and outside of the classroom that connects individuals around the world through photography, reflection, discussion, and action. In order for any of this to happen, however, we need your participation, support, and collaboration.
Thank you SO MUCH for your support and help in finding success for this project. It is our hope that by helping us you may inspire others to critically think and creatively solve problems that will foster a greater insight into the lives and perspectives of others and ourselves.
- (30 days)