OUR PROGRAM applies these theoretical methodologies around three core concepts: Social Activism, Media Literacy and Technical Skills.
We encourage students to explore their own identities by creating "identity charts" in order to better understand themselves, and their power as a collective force. Because of our partner organization, Equal Education, our students are already steeped in an activism paradigm. Together, we explore how visual representation, storytelling techniques and socially-conscious media production can help students create a wider impact with their activism.
Another pillar of our workshop is to promote media literacy. We want our students to be able to read the media landscape around them in order to become critically-conscious consumers and producers of media. We watch short- and feature-length documentaries, discuss mainstream media representations of "Africa" - some created by Africans and others created by Westerners. Students then create their own photo series about Khayelitsha. We discuss the importance of acknowledging the insider-outsider dichotomy in any relationship of representation. Together, we reach a new understanding of ourselves and each other as co-creators of media and of this workshop.
In tandem with our discussion-based workshops are skills-based lessons. We teach photography and film on Cannon DSLR cameras, and editing on Final Cut Pro 7. We allow students to explore these skills through “free shoots” and “in the field” activities like conducting mock interviews at Look Out Hill in Khayelithsa, and creating photo essays in their community. We believe that process and product are of equal importance, and want to instill a sense of pride and profession in our students. We aim to teach professional and employable skills.