Our Neighborhood! Images by The Lower Eastside Girls Club Photography Class
For me photography has opened my eyes to a new world by letting me express my view on life. It allows me to open up to people and let them know what I am thinking. When I photograph, it’s my way of communicating. Often, when I am having a hard time I allow pictures to tell my story instead of saying how I feel. —Fatima Haidara, age 17
When I have a camera in my hands, I feel as if I can capture everything the human eye can see and beyond. Living in a world where so many historical and incredible events are occurring as we speak, holding a camera is almost like holding power. It gives the amazing ability to capture and share what so many people haven’t been exposed to. — Cristine Sanchez, age 16
When I was young, I never grew up with any pictures. Photographs are treasures, something to be kept and cherished forever. Recently, I asked my mother why there seemed to be a lack of pictures of our childhood and family. She claimed that when my family was escaping the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo she didn’t consider family portraits as important, therefore she left them all in the abandoned house and country we escaped from. There is sense of power about being behind a camera that just makes me feel powerful and capable of anything. —Justine Kayumba, age 18
Our Photography Programs Photography has been an integral part of The Lower Eastside Girls Club since our founding in 1996. Photography was our first program and our first love! Although we teach many more classes now, photography is always on the roster and a part of all our other programs. Starting as young as eight years old, the girls begin on simple “point and shoot” cameras and gradually learn on the more advanced digital SLRs. The girls learn how to shoot, edit, print, curate and finally, how to hang their work in our on-site gallery. They learn about the wider field of photography by visiting museums and galleries, attending guest lectures at the Girls Club, and by meeting and interning with working photographers. Our photo students have won student awards from The Professional Women Photographers Association, displayed their work in art galleries and sold photographs to art collectors. We offer photography courses during the summer, after-school and on Saturday afternoons, under the guidance of our Photography Programs Director and Instructors. We have also collaborated with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and The International Center of Photography. The photos in this collection were taken in Summer of 2011.
A Note from Lou, our Photography Instructor: “Walking through one’s neighborhood with a camera in hand is an invitation to experience it in a new way. It’s a ticket to adventure, of learning to see the neighborhood as a world of shapes, textures, colors and people.The girls are on assignment: to focus, frame, choose their point of view, compose, be aware of the light, interact with people and shoot! Each girl is unique and photography allows each one to express their individual way of seeing. What we choose to photograph tells us about ourselves and one another. It’s our neighborhood, yes, and we are all apart of it!” — Lou Dembrow
Photography by: Kailani A. Massaquoi Chastidy Rembert Saydi Lorenzana Ivory Bamba Niana Johnson Tyra Joseph Khrystal Duarte Apolonia Euvin Tiffany Espinal Tameah Spencer Apolonia Euvin Rachelly Lorenzo Destiny Olivo Ashleigh Williams Lou Dembrow
About the Girls Club The Lower Eastside Girls Club provides a place where girls and young women 8–23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. By delivering strong arts, literacy, science, health and leadership programs we provide girls with the vision and thetools to build, their future. All Girls Club programs develop environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leadership in the girls we serve.