The MyNew Orleans Photo Project has gotten off to a fast start in 2017! Due to the extreme heat of summer 2016, we decided to kick off our photo handouts much earlier to avoid the worst of the heat, and distributed 98 cameras in May and early June. By the July 4th holiday, we had received back almost 60 cameras!
While a few more may still trickle in, we also received word that at least 13 cameras had been lost or stolen — something that is not unusual for people experiencing homelessness. We have heard innumerable stories of lost and stolen possessions, the worst to lose being one’s official ID and other documents, as the process to receive a replacement can be a slow and painful process.
Currently, the Project is in two concurrent stages.
In New Orleans, Heather and volunteers are meeting with participants to review their photos. In this process, the participants select two photos to have printed 8×10 inches and hung in the gallery show in October. They also select up to 10 photographs to keep as 4×6 inch prints. Along with the photos, we interview them about the photos and their own stories, and ask them how they feel about their experience in participating in the Project so far.
Meanwhile, Elisabeth has been recruiting judges for the panel which will convene July 24 at Propeller in New Orleans. The panel will include representatives from three groups of people. One group is made up of photography or digital media professionals, the second group is composed of people active in the nonprofit, cultural, and social innovation arenas in New Orleans, and the third are folks who work with people affected by homelessness in some way. By bringing these groups together to view the photos together and select the very best, we ensure that both photographic quality and impact around the issue of homelessness is incorporated into the final selection.
As we continue forward over the summer, we will be working to share our progress and our stories with you. We hope that people in New Orleans take the opportunity to visit the exhibit of calendar winners from 2016 at the New Orleans Public Library downtown at 219 Loyola Avenue.
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