Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grupo Aguacero, planting a Seed and watching it grow

If you look at my earliest entries in this blog you will see that I have been working with Grupo Aguacero for about 6 years now. Most of them started out as 15 or 16 year olds in high school and now most are graduating college already. It was always my intention to keep working with them until they reached the point where they were self sufficient and could go on their own. Well, it looks like that time has come, my kids are all grown up. The entire project in Cartagena, Soñando ser Fotógrafo, was planned and carried out by the members of the group. I hardly had to do anything. The students have now become the teachers. It gives me such a sense of pride to see the seeds I helped plant 6 years ago now blossoming.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Student Photographs in La Boquilla

Here is a slideshow showing photos taken by students in Soñando ser Fotógrafo (Dreaming of Being a Photographer) in La Boquilla, Cartagena in Colombia.

Click on YouTube logo to see video larger directly on YouTube.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Process in La Boquilla

Here is a slideshow showing the process of the 4 workshops in Soñando ser Fotógrafo (Dreaming of Being a Photographer) in La Boquilla, Cartagena in Colombia.

Click on YouTube logo to see video larger directly on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Arriving at La Boquilla, Cartagena

After getting into Cartagena late last night (after a 26 hour bus ride) today is our first workshop with Los Reporteritos de La Boquilla and Organicación Fundación Proboquilla. I am here as a member of Grupo Aguacero, comprised of my students from Cali's Aguablanca District that I have been working with for the past 6 years.

La Boquilla is located right on the water about 20 minutes walk from where we are staying in my Aunt Jenny's Apt. These 18 students, aged 10 - 16, have received workshops in the past on topics ranging from web design to journalism. We spent our first day getting to know each other and outlining the rest of the workshops. The people in this community make their living from the sea and the tourists who make Cartagena Colombia's #1 tourist attraction. The overwhelming majority (like 90%) of the residents are Afro-Colombian.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Devoción a La Vírgen del Carmen (Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)

This video was created by Grupo Flormorado and explains the significance of their very important celebration of La Virgen del Carmen (our Lady of Mt. Carmel). I was really intrigued by how little I knew about it and what a big deal it is for the residents of La Florida as well as the rest of Colombia. I have been teaching the students digital video this summer along with traditional and digital photography, and this is just the first in a series that the students will be making about their traditions.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adios a La Florida

 Tonight we had a small exhibition of the students work at the town hall where many in the community got to see how much Grupo Flormorado has accomplished this past month. I am sad to be going but know that I am leaving the group in good hands with Padre Angel, professor Camilo Arango, and the parents of the students. They now have in addition to a darkroom a computer lab with 3 Macintosh computers, a scanner/laser printer, and Internet access. I can't wait to get back to Philly so that we can start our cultural exchange with my Stetson Shutterbugs!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Photograms

These are the first photograms my students in La Florida have created. A Photogram is a simple photographic process of basically collages on top of photographic paper in the darkroom that is then exposed by the enlarger. The students were asked to use items of personal significance in their photograms.

Photogram by Brayan

Photogram by Jaimer

Photogram by Lorena

Photogram by Miguel Angel

Photogram by Nelly

First Pinhole Photos!

Here are some of my La Florida students' first pinhole photos. These images were taken with recycled cans that we transformed into cameras. These images depict the students and areas of La Florida that the students feel connected to.

Photo by Catherine 
Photo by Erick

Photo by Johan

Photo by Maria Jose

Photo by Miguel Angel

Friday, July 1, 2011

La Florida-getting back to business

The primary goal of my trip to Colombia this summer is to get my project in La Florida off and running. Last year we made a good start but we had a problem getting a teacher to keep the project going when I was gone so things have moved slowly. My students are still excited, however, and ready to get busy! Our first week has been devoted to Pinhole Photography and Fotograms. Check out some picts of our first week below.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nos Vamos a Cartagena/We're going to Cartagena!

In August I am taking members of Grupo Aguacero to the famous coastal resort city of Cartagena. For many of my students this will be the first time they have ever seen the ocean. Besides recreation, we will also be doing a photography project with children from a local church in Cartagena. During this trip Grupo Aguacero will start to transition from students to teachers, passing on what they have learned about photography. Getting to Cartagena from Cali entails a 26 hour bus ride. More details to follow!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iguana Park / Parque de las Iguanas

This is a video about a neighborhood park/ Iguana reserve in Cali, Colombia that I discovered, run for 22 years as a labor of love by Orlando Machado. 

If the video plays too small on your screen, click the tab under the video to view it directly on youtube.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gravy and Meatball with Grupo Aguacero

I am so excited to be back in Colombia for the summer, working with my students, taking photographs, and doing what I love. My first stop is Cali and my students from grupo Aguacero. They are always cooking for me, showing me dishes from Colombia, so this time I wanted them to experience something from Philly. I'm not much of a cook (but I can boil water!), so I brought down gravy and meatballs from renowned Vill di Roma Restaurant in South Philly so they could experience spaghetti like I did when I was growing up. Colombians' and many Latinos' idea of spaghetti is pasta with ketchup mixed with rice. Yuck! This time they got to try the real deal!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Barbeque: Colombia Style

While visiting Colombia for the holidays I got to catch up with my old photography group Agua Cero in Cali's Aguablanca district. We always love to eat when we get together so I am posting a video of us trying to get the coal (not charcoal) to light so we can get to eatin'!

Watching Video with Grupo Flormorado

It was great to see some of my students from Grupo Flormorado over the holidays. I delivered and installed some new computers for a mini lab we are trying to set up and got to see some of the new things they are working on. In the above photo the group was looking at a holiday video created for them by my Stetson Shutterbugs.

Christmas in La Florida

What a treat it was to spend the holidays in Colombia. Besides seeing my family I got to spend some time with mi familia from La Florida, including Don Jairo pictured above. We spent time catching up and planning our activities for the coming year.