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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

New kids on the block....Not!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My weekly class at the Aschiana orphanage is sometimes the most enjoyable, not because my Aina classes are boring or dull, they are far from that. at Aschiana it isn't critical for the students to become professional photojournalists. I am just there to show them something new. So we have a bit more fun, joking around, shooting whatever subjects we want. This class is more about getting these kids off the streets where they work long hours for little money and into school. Here they can learn something that might make their futures a little brighter.

This week I took them out of the orphanage into the surrounding streets that they know better than anyone. The difference was that this time they didn't have to scape a few dollars together to take home to the families. This was just a fun excursion to test out their new camera skills.

As soon as we entered the park we were approached by some other street kids who tried to bully their way into our fun, demanding to have a camera too. I explained to them, that if they attended my class in Aschiana, they too could be shooting stuff with these cool digital cameras. They soon got bored and moved on.

Although my students were having fun, they were still professional, keeping their camera staps wrapped around their wrists (lessson one). I try to keep the classes simple by teaching them basic photographic skills such as angles, image contsruction and direction of light. Its amazing how much you can teach without a common language between you.

As we were returning from the local park we passed the main street where these same kids work washing cars, selling phone cards and cigarette lighters. Their 'work companions' crowed around us, firing questions at them:
"Where did you get the cameras?"
"What are you photographing?"
"Why are you doing this?" and
"Who is that strange man with the big camera?"

My students told them that we're 'photographers' now and would see them later, after they finished shooting their assignment for the day!

Next week ill get them on the computers so we can process their images in Photoshop.
Stay tuned.
posted by Travis, 8:11 pm


commented by Blogger Fangyaya, 2:06 pm  

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