'Kids and Cameras' Now on Display
October 18, 2007
Contact: University Relations
"Kids and Cameras: Views of Baltimore," a project in which inner city youths were given cameras to capture their everyday lives, is now on display in the University of Baltimore School of Law's Family Justice Building, 5 W. Chase St. The project, supported by Humanity in Action and the Telesis Corporation and overseen by two college students who met while conducting fellowship for Humanity in Action, consists of a series of snapshots taken by 11- and 12-year-old students from Dallas Nicholas Elementary. The school is located in the Barclay-Midway neighborhood, only blocks from the UB campus.
Aditi Mehta and Beth Rossi, the young women who oversaw the project, were working for Humanity in Action in Germany when they met and decided to do some empowerment work with a city neighborhood. Mehta, a native of Boston, was attending Cornell University at the time, while Rossi, a former resident of Baltimore, was attending the University of Pennsylvania. The two decided that giving cameras to local children would result in a unique perspective on life in a Baltimore neighborhood.
"We wanted a neighborhood with a lot of spirit," Mehta told the Baltimore Examiner last April. "We went through the Barclay area and found Dallas Nicholas Elementary. We were very moved by what we saw: the energy of the neighborhood, the dedicated teachers at the school, the activism in the community. And, also, some of its troubles."
Mehta and Rossi connected with Nate Tatum, director of school initiatives for the school. The project quickly got underway, as six students volunteered to photograph their daily lives with disposable cameras and a little training in photography.
"We really enjoyed teaching these students about taking pictures, but even more, we enjoyed learning from them—about their lives, their thoughts, and their observations," Rossi and Mehta wrote in an introduction to the "Kids and Cameras" exhibition.
The photos received their debut at North Avenue's Load of Fun Art Gallery last March. Since then, they have been shown in the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Central Branch and at a number of area coffee shops and restaurants.
"Kids and Cameras" is now on display in the Family Justice Building. The building's hours are 8:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information about the exhibit, call 410.837.5180.