I was recently in Buenos Aires for the opening of my exhibition in the Centro Cultural Borges. I met and worked with some amazing students who are taking part in a unique photography program called ph15. Fifteen is the number which identifies the slum on the edge of Buenos Aires where they live. Here are some of their pictures.
Through learning how to look at and depict the different realities of their lives, both as individuals and in a group, the students learn to explore everything that surrounds them and to express themselves through their personal views, and with a new perspective.
Showing the work produced by the ph15 students is one of the most important parts of the project. Each student participates in selection, mounting, framing, and hanging. The exhibition venues range from local venues to museums in Europe, North and South America and beyond.
Ph15 helps the students to take full ownership of the neighborhood in which they live, but also learn how to move around the city and know places where they usually don’t go or do not have access.
Ph15 generates a space where adolescents can develop their identities and improve their social and cultural conditions. Ph15 uses the creative power of photography to open an alternative route for students that transmits values and cultural understanding that belong to them and are not imposed by others’ expectations.
Listening to the students discuss their plans for the future, almost all of them hoped to continue with photography in some way. PH15 has provided them with the support and confidence to help positively shape the future of the neighborhood and their lives.