Outside the Lens (OTL) presented a two-day workshop for young women from the Norwegian Refugee Council network and the UNFPA/IFH Women and Girls Safe Spaces in the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp. The workshop is a participatory, project-based program that aims to develop students’ abilities in and appreciation of the arts of digital photography and narrative, while building essential 21st century skills, such as media literacy, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration.
This interactive, workshop experience, enables students to explore their identity through the lens by collaborating with their peers in a structured and safe environment in all aspects of project planning, creation, and editing - meanwhile creating self-reflective poetry and portrait photography. A majority of the participating youth have in some way been stripped of their physical belongings and structural sense of home. Through photography, we make it possible for students to reconnect with their past and reclaim their identity, by capturing meaning through imagery. By taking ownership of the situation they are in, students gain a sense of agency to create change within themselves, their community, and their world, and are enabled to build a better vision for their future.
At the conclusion of the workshop, our students presented a final exhibition to showcase their work to members of their community, fostering dialogue and empowerment by gaining a new skill set in digital media arts.