After seeing an InsideOut project roll-out when I was working in Bosnia, I couldn’t wait to lead my own Group Action. SKIP was the perfect place as they’d contacted the director the year before asking if she’d wanted to get involved. Our whole team was excited about the idea but it progressed slowly and took over 6 months to finally pull together. We took over 20 portraits of photography students and SKIP mothers who were interested in the project and sent them off to the InsideOut offices in New York. We also set up a JustGiving page and asked for donations to cover the cost of printing and to buy materials, and achieved our goal in just a couple days. A month later our portraits were mailed back to us, each one being 2’x3’.
And the last:
Whether we like it or not, our society holds certain prejudices that ultimately affect our visions of reality. We cannot choose the family we are born into or the community we grow up in. We cannot avoid the fact that our sociocultural locality affects both our conditions of life and our perceptions of the world.
The juxtaposing truths of peace/violence, love/hate, rich/poor, developed/undeveloped, health/sickness, happiness/sadness are present in all cultures and communities. But in order to understand the depth and truth inherent in these oppositions, we need to open our own eyes and look, think and explore for ourselves.
Linguistically, El Porvenir translates into ‘the Future.’ As a real community in the North of Peru, El Porvenir translates into a marginalized, impoverished district in the outskirts of Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city. Often heard perceptions of El Porvenir revolve around themes of violence and delinquency. Not unlike most communities globally, these are present realities in El Porvenir, however, there exist other important truths: family, love, work, education, art and hope.
Our InsideOut Group Action attempts to begin a process of opening, of breaking down stereotypes. By looking into the community of El Porvenir through our camera lens, and therefore providing a platform for community members to look back at the viewers, the people of Trujillo, we can begin to create a new reality of ‘the Other’ and therefore challenge the negative perceptions of El Porvenir that effectively marginalize its families, its mothers and its children.
To arrive at your own answers then, we ask that you look into the eyes of these people and tell us,
What do you see?
Images from the process: