The AjA Project: Photography Programs for San Diego Youth
Education Specialist

As a journalist by profession, Christina Chomut found photography to be a powerful medium to communicate and create dialog while documenting a rising feminista political party during the 2003 elections in Mexico. The New York City native spent a semester living in Ensenada and participating in an anthropological research program while completing her B.A. at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. During this time, Christina found a direct correlation between her ability to successfully document a population of people photographically and her deeper understanding of that population. This concept resonated through her style of reporting, yielding a position as a daily newspaper reporter for a subsidiary of the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2004. Inspired by the work of Wendy Ewald, photographer and educator, Christina found the methods of participatory photography and visual thinking strategies to be extraordinarily effective when working with youth. Since 2009, Christina has been working with The AjA Project, both inside and outside the classroom as a Journey instructor and Youth Advisory Council facilitator. The effectiveness of AjA’s multi-tiered, theme-based programming served as an impetus for Christina to launch a new international initiative (The Znymka Project) through AjA to work with at-risk and orphaned youth in Ukraine.