Page 1




June 7-9, 2013 25CPW Gallery :: New York City




4 6 8 11 13 14

Sa se mama mwen ak youn vwazen. Yo wè youn ti moun ki ap eseye fè yon bagay pou tet li epi sa fe yo kontan. This is my mother and a neighbor. They see a child who is trying to make something of herself and that makes them happy.

Fabienne, 15

PROJECT ISTWA—WHO ARE WE? Founded in 2011, Project Istwa is a nonprofit organization that conducts a series of seven-day photography workshops and youth development programs for young Haitians throughout Haiti. While the global media coverage of Haiti is significant, particularly after the January 2010 earthquake, opportunities for Haitians to portray their views and perspectives directly are limited. The purpose of Project Istwa is to allow participants to use photography to communicate what is important to them and how they see their world. Often visitors capturing images of the children of Haiti have no real interaction with their subject. Project Istwa gives these children the opportunity to experience being on the other side of the camera. Through the world of photography they have the opportunity to tell their story, their way, through their own eyes.


There are several goals Project Istwa seeks to accomplish. First and foremost, the hope is that the children simply have fun that that they find the workshops fulfilling. While that is the main priority, Project Istwa is also designed both as a community and capacity-building activity and exercise of empowerment that aims to leave the children feeling that their voices and perspectives matter. During each workshop, participants are given a digital camera so they can take photographs that show what a day in their life looks like from their perspective. Working with facilitators, the children learn about their cameras and photography, photograph their surroundings and discuss why they chose to take certain photos. At the end of the week they show their photos to family, friends and community members in a public exhibition in their neighborhoods. Project Istwa plans to conduct workshops in each of the ten departments of Haiti, as well as the bateys (impoverished areas where Haitian migrant workers reside) in the Dominican Republic, with the goal of allowing Haitian youth all across the island the freedom to express themselves. Workshops have already been completed in six departments with over one hundred participants who have all used photography and narrative to represent how they see themselves and their communities.

To ensure that the scope and purpose of Project Istwa extends beyond each workshop, initiatives are in progress to maintain a long-term relationship between Project Istwa and Project Istwa alumni. One of these initiatives will focus on connecting the youth who participate in Project Istwa so that they can see how others their age live and view their lives in Haiti. Project Istwa also seeks to maintain long–term relationships with program alumni and their communities through participant driven community development projects. For as many groups as is feasible, Project Istwa meets with participants after the workshop to hear what they want and need in their communities. Project Istwa then facilitates the necessary fundraising and partnerships to implement these projects. This process has already begun with Project Istwa alumni from Cité Soleil and Pétion-Ville. The participants from Cité Soleil requested a baking class to learn how to bake traditional Haitian cakes. This class took place at the Corail Restaurant in Pétion-Ville, this past summer. Beginning in spring 2013, participants from both Cité Soleil and Pétion-Ville will participate in traditional folkloric dance and drumming classes that they requested. Other development projects requested by alumni include computer training courses, English and Spanish language classes and tree planting.

5] Project Istwa is thankful to work with a variety of community partners in Haiti including Konbit Pou Edikasyon (KPE), Port-Salut Community Council, The Salvation Army Haiti and Tek4Kids among others. Several sponsors such as Cola Lacaye, Fleurimond Catering, Prestige and Rhum Barbancourt, help ensure that Project Istwa events and exhibitions are successful.

Project Istwa is also grateful to partner with organizations and groups in the United States including the William H. Carr Junior High School 194 in Whitestone, New York whose students raised funds for Project Istwa’s January 2013 workshops, the Jay Dudley Luce Foundation who hosted Project Istwa’s January 2013 exhibition in New York City, and the Titus Mentorship Experience in Detroit, Michigan, which is currently hosting a pen pal program for Project Istwa alumni.

PREVIOUS EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS 2011 July: Cité Soleil, with Konbit Pou Edikasyon. 2012 January: Tent city, Camp Acra II Juvenat in Pétion-Ville with Camp Manager


2013 January: Earthquake commemoration exhibition, La Difference, at the Stonehedge/ Luce Non-Profit Space. January: Miragoâne with the Salvation Army Haiti & Jérémie with Tek4Kids

May: Our Voices | Our Words | Our Photos: Stories and Images from the Youth of Port-auPrince Exhibition at the Dillon Gallery, New York City.

June: Exhibition at 25CPW Gallery hosted by photographer and philanthropist, Marc Baptiste.

July: Hinche, with Sacré-Coeur church, PortSalut with Port-Salut CADEC & Jacmel with the Salvation Army Haiti

July-August: Four additional workshops are in the works in Fort-Libertè, Cap-Haïtien, Port-de-Paix and Gonaïves.

Port-Salut - July 2012


Past workshop communities. Summer 2013 workshop communities.

SPRING 2013 EXHIBITION The June 2013 Project Istwa photography exhibition and silent auction will take place at the 25CPW in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City. This year’s exhibition will be hosted by fashion photographer and philanthropist, Marc Baptiste. Project Istwa has conducted seven exhibitions in Haiti, in workshop communities, and two exhibitions in New York City to date. Last May, Chelsea’s Dillon Gallery graciously donated their space for Project Istwa’s first international exhibition , Our Voices | Our Words | Our Photos.


In June 2013, Project Istwa plans to exhibit approximately 100 narrated photographs by participants from the five most recent workshops, which took place in the towns of Hinche, PortSalut, Jacmel, Miragoâne and Jérémie in the summer of 2012 and the winter of 2013. A curating committee will select the 100 photographs for exhibition from a portfolio of over 450 photographs; these 450 photos were originally selected by Project Istwa workshop facilitators in collaboration with the photographers themselves from a foundation of over 20,000 photos. Each photograph will be framed and will range in size from 8x10 to 20x30 and be on display June 7-9. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Project Istwa anticipates holding multiple events throughout the weekend in collaboration with the nonprofit organization, Haiti Cultural Exchange, including a reception featuring a silent auction for the photographs on display. In addition to the photographs taken by participants, a selection of black and white framed photographs capturing the workshop experience will also be on display. This section of the exhibition provides viewers a deeper understanding of how a Project Istwa workshop works, including the process through which the participants take and caption their photographs. We intend to charge a small admissions fee for the reception attendees. The weekend will generate other revenue through the sale of raffle tickets, sets of postcards of photographs not included in the exhibition, and an exhibition book. The estimated attendance for the reception is 300 people and 400 in total for the full exhibition weekend.

Project Istwa will promote the exhibition through a press release to all major media outlets, New York City events listings, social media outlets and invitations to a variety of photography and arts related organizations, companies, and publications. A host committee comprised of New York City-based professionals working in diverse sectors will simultaneously promote the event through their respective networks. Building upon last year’s attendance of over 200 people, Project Istwa will invite representatives from local, national and international organizations working in Haiti, members of the New York City Haitian diaspora community, photographers, artists, professionals from a variety of industries, representatives from Hew York area foundations and corporations, and staff and volunteers from Project Istwa’s partnership organizations and sponsors.

9] In my own thoughts I see that we have people helping us. It's not just in my country I see we have people helping us. I would be happy if they could help other kids and not just me. If they start with just helping us, when we get older we will help other kids. And when we help them they will think good thoughts and develop themselves well. What I love most for Project Istwa is they continue to help other children “ - Frantz, 12 Jacmel

Community Exhibition - July 25, 2012 Hotel Florita - Jacmel

EXHIBITION GOALS The goals of this exhibition are two-fold: to share the stories of the children of Haiti as told by the children of Haiti and to raise funds for the organization and the next four Project Istwa workshops, which are scheduled form summer 2013. The first goal is critical to the mission and vision of Project Istwa. The project is inspired by a methodology known as photovoice, which is used to provide populations with an outlet and forum for sharing their perspectives by becoming both photographers and story tellers. An essential tenet of photovoice is that the photographs be shown to decision-makers and policymakers; the photographers directly call attention to their perspectives and the issues that matter to them, highlighting and making room for opportunities to create change. Project Istwa facilitates exhibitions of participants’ work on the local and international levels in order to disseminate their stories as widely as possible. A traveling Project Istwa exhibition in Haiti is also planned for 2014, so that people in all areas of the country can hear what the Project Istwa participants have to say.


Project Istwa staff, interns and volunteers are working diligently to secure event sponsors and honorary chairs to assist with visibility and sponsorship for the spring exhibition. Project Istwa hopes to receive enough donations and sponsorships to cover exhibition cost, allowing Project Istwa to dedicate all revenue from the exhibition towards the direct costs of the summer 2013 workshops taking place in the towns of Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haïtien, Port-de-Paix and Gonaïves.

Le mwen panse de tet mwen kom youn fotograf kè m ‘se lajwa. When I think of myself as a photographer my heart is joyous. Dudley, 9

PRESS, OUTREACH AND SOCIAL NETWORKING A recent article on Project Istwa focused on the positive effects of the Project Istwa workshops: “In one particular case, a young boy was initially reluctant to communicate or even make eye contact with the instructors or other participants. By the end of the workshop, he could be seen smiling, talking, and enjoying himself. The change was noticed by his older brother, who exclaimed “He opened up, you brought him to life! ”1 Additionally, our social networking base is sizeable & growing:  Our Facebook fan base is made up of over 1,200 fans from 20 countries.  61% of our page subscribers are women.  59% are between the ages of 25 and 34.  Project Istwa utilizes the dynamic Twitter community of organizations, individuals, publications and philanthropic initiatives working in youth, photography and Haiti related issues.  Twitter followers have increased by 50% since the inception of the account.



DaSilva, Natalia. Project Istwa: A Way of Communication, September 21, 2012.

WHO WE SERVE FACTS ABOUT HAITI’S YOUTH As of 2012, there are an estimate of 4,316,000 children residing within Haiti.1 At present, 56.1% of the population are under 25 years of age.2 In a 2012 study, UNDP estimated the mean years of schooling throughout the population at 4.9.2

PROJECT ISTWA serves the large youth population in Haiti’s diverse provinces, rural communities as well as urban, and tent city dwellers, providing young people with a formative experience as well as access to an educational and playful outlet for communication.

When I think of myself as a photographer my heart is joyous! - Dudley, 9 Cité Soleil

14] In accordance with our 2012 goal, at present 100% of Project Istwa alumni are enrolled in school. Project Istwa seeks to offer additional assistance where needed to ensure 100% school enrollment. During 2012, 76 Haitian youth participated in Project Istwa workshops during its second year, raising our total number of participants to 105. 53% of the participants were female. We have experienced nearly a 300% increase participants since 2011.

Pétion-Ville, January 2012

1Children 2The

of Haiti: Two Tears After, Unicef, 2012 Report, United Nations Children’s Fund. Rise of the South: Human Development Report 2013.

CitĂŠ Soleil - July 2012

Fiona Korwin-Pawlowski Vice-President and Founder (T) 646.389.0224 (USA) Email:

Project Istwa 2013 Press Kit  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you