Last week me and Terry Morris spent an exhausting but very rewarding three days with a bunch of street kids from Essaouira. As part of the Shore to Shore project we were there to run photography workshops with the kids. We gave each a simple Nikon digital camera and some very basic instruction -- although given that most of the children didn't speak a lot of French, it really was basic. But we didn't need to worry. Children love gadgets, and the Nikons were very intuitive to use. In a couple of minutes our young photographers were shooting decent pictures.
Over the three days we took them to a variety of locations in and around Essauoira. Actually having lived on the streets, they took us as much as we took them. They were a bit of a handful but charming and well behaved.
We worked for hours and hours and they never seemed to tire. I was amazed at the continual enthusiasm they showed, how they were always looking for opportunities and always experimenting with new angles and approaches.
The results, as I hope you agree, are stunning. Terry, an established successful professional, said he would be happy to call many of the images his own. The child's eye perspective is interesting and it proves that if you give kids the space and support their creativity flows. Evidence I think of the power of informal learning.
I am reminded of Picasso's words: "Every child is an artist. The trouble is how to remain an artist when we grow up."