The StART International Teaching Project with Statement Arts
Luang Prabang, Laos 2015, 2016 & 2017
In February of 2015 and 2016, in partnership with their non-profit, Statement Arts, Liza & Ari traveled to Luang Prabang, Laos to teach photography to a group of young aspiring photographers and bring much needed equipment. Because of the generosity of our supporters, we were able to donate more than 60 cameras, (DSLRS as well as point and shoots) tripods, flashes, light shapers, software, tablets, backpacks, lenses, cases and much more to Carol Kresge's revolutionary non-profit, @My Library.
For two weeks, they taught more than 40 participants camera basics, proper exposure, story-telling through images, composition and how to capture moments. The project was hugely successful and we are currently planning to return to Laos in 2017.
Yangon, Myanmar 2016 & 2017
Ari, Liza and Statement Arts ran three workshops in Yangon. The first was with ‘Helping Hands’. Started by Annie Burnet, an Australian expat, Helping Hands has set up the first 'socially responsible' enterprise in the city. There were 13 kids in that class (12 boys and one very brave girl!!!) and they spent the week traveling around Yangon making images and learning about the art of photography.
For their next workshop, they partnered up with Yu Yu Myint Than and Myanmar Deitta, Yangon’s only gallery dedicated to the photographic arts. Social workers from the Shan States of Northern Myanmar were brought down to the capital city to participate in these classes. These young activists are dealing with civil war, drug addiction, human trafficking, land/territory issues and rights for the LGBT community. They are on the front lines, often times before the media. By putting cameras in their hands and providing them with photography skills, they will be better able to document what is happening in their rapidly changing country. There were 10 (7 males and 3 females) enrolled in this workshop.
With the help of Scottish ex-pat, Don Wright, the final Burmese photo class participants were 11 young people who work in the country’s notorious ‘tea shops’. At the Morning Star Tea Shop, more than 65 kids live and work together. Life is quite hard for the these kids with the days starting long before the sun. Don Wright has been overseeing this project for quite some time and by bringing in much needed equipment and additional skills, he will be able to expand his current program to include more kids.