The Speak City Heights collaborative is in full swing and students at Crawford High School are adding their voices to the conversation. Using photography and narrative, students are examining health issues at Crawford—physical, mental and social health—and speaking to the issues that most directly affect their daily lives. One student, Karla, chose to create a photo essay on the topic of graffiti; in her words, “Graffiti is something bad and hurtful for students and also damages and defiant for property. It’s important to me because it is a distraction in school and it can result into school fights.” As a potential solution to the problem of graffiti at Crawford, she offered this suggestion: “Make a club for students to show their art and express their feelings in a responsible way, instead of writing on school property.”
Are you an experienced photographer or multi-media guru, looking for ways to share your skills with your community and teaching photography to youth? The AjA Project in San Diego, a nonprofit that uses photography to build leadership skills, literacy and an appreciation of the arts, is holding a special photography workshop in San Diego for those artists interested in becoming part of our organization.
At this event, we will discuss the role of a teaching photographer, our method and approach, stories and work from our youth, as well as much more, in order for you to learn more about who we are. There will be an opportunity for you to get to know more about our program staff and ask questions you may have about what it’s like to work in AjA classrooms, teaching photography to our students.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
At the AjA office:
4089 Fairmount Avenue
San Diego 92105
To be eligible to attend this special photography workshop, please send a current resume and your RSVP to AjA’s Program Manager, Jena Olson, at email@example.com
with “Teaching Artist” in the subject line.
Participatory photography project helps refugees make their voice heard on medical translation needs.November 28th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off
AjA recently partnered on an exciting, new short-term project called Face to Face with the Mid-City CAN’s Access to Health Care momentum team. Access to Health Care is a community advocacy group calling for in-person interpretation services to be available at all clinics and hospitals in San Diego. Every member of the team has a profound story to tell, from receiving unnecessary medical procedures to administering the wrong medication to a family member, all due to inadequate medical interpretation. Over the course of two weeks, AjA worked with members of the team to help them share their stories through photography and narratives. We then combined their words and images onto large vinyl banners and displayed them at the Health Care Enrollment and Resource Fair held on November 17th at Colina del Sol Park. The banners helped attendees understand the implications of not having in-person interpretation services as well as how everyone can benefit from better interpretation services. These banners will be used as a traveling exhibit to support the advocacy efforts of the Access to Health Care team and serve as a powerful example of what can happen when community groups work together to achieve a common goal.
As a part of the Speak City Heights initiative, students at Monroe
Clark Middle School identified areas in the City Heights area that were
beautiful, ugly, scary, safe and unsafe. They looked at the patterns and
discussed why those areas felt safe, unsafe, etc. They then photographed
those areas. The themes that emerged from this participatory process helped
to inform and guide the news coverage by media partners. For more
information, please visit
Speak City Heights
As many of you know, AjA has started a new program called PhotoCity, a
participatory photography program that teaches youth to turn the lens
outward and critically examine community issues that affect their daily
lives. At the completion of the workshops, AjA guides students to identify
the most salient themes, and facilitates partnerships with local schools,
community organizations and policy makers to create change on a systemic
level. As a part of our partnership with Speak City Heights, students at
Monroe Clark Middle School used photography to examine their built
environment in City Heights and create imagery and narratives that spoke to
their perceptions of the area. Below is a compilation of their work. Enjoy!
As you all know, we recently moved to a new location. We are very happy and excited, and also we have been working very hard to have it ready very soon. This new office is a 4,000 sq. ft. location that includes our offices, a classroom, and a gallery located in the heart of the City Heights community. The gallery will be a place for the students to permanently display their art and, in a near future, will give us a place to hold our after-school programs.
You are part of this new phase, so we want to share our progress with you and with all the community members. We also want to thank you for being part of this new adventure. And we hope to see you soon!
Come visit us, help us out and tell us what you think, You’re part of this too!
On June 28, “A Home for our Photography”, an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, was launched. This campaign will help us to raise funds for the move and build-out of the our new permanent space. Also, with the opening of the new 4,000 sq. ft. location, we will be able to support our students with new offices, a classroom, and a gallery to exhibit students’ photos. This new space will be located in the heart of the City Heights’ community, offering a place for the students to permanently display their art and will provide an opportunity to hold after-school programs for youth.
The goal is to raise at least $5,000 dollars by July 15th through this IndieGoGo campaign. Please help us to spread the news and support us to reach our goal.
Learn more about the campaign in http://www.indiegogo.com/AHomeForOurPhotography
Antonio, Age 16, SDHS
“I consider myself a very artistic person. Art is my safety, where I can be myself…In this image, I splattered myself in paint to symbolize how art is everywhere around me – my mind, what I do, how I dress, how I talk, anything I am interested in.” - Beto, SDHS
Nichole, Age 17, SDHS
The AjA Project recently completed a 10-week-long participatory photography program at San Diego High School in partnership with ARC, an after-school & experiential education provider. For this pilot program, students selected a theme-based project around identity, titled “I Am.” By using specific photography techniques, students explored their own identities more critically and created opportunities to discuss the power of photography as a medium for visual communication.
Through the efforts of in-class program facilitators, Christina Chomut, Calvin Ha & Jenelle Raynowska, SDHS students created a mixed media project which will be featured at the Take Action Leadership Campaign artists’ showcase at Paramount Studios in LA on May 19th.
We look forward to supporting our new extended members of the AjA family as they showcase their efforts tomorrow in LA. Good luck SDHS students!!!
The AjA Project is pleased to announce that we are a recipient of San Diego Gas & Electric’s 2012 Excellence in Civic Leadership Grant. This will support our Youth Advisory Council and Leadership Program. We are extremely grateful for this partnership! Thank you SDG&E!