THE WORLD THROUGH OUR EYES
In 2009 Jen May Pastores designed and instructed a digital photography class available to the youth of Tiny Toones Youth Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Over 50 students participated daily in the month-long program held at the center. The class began with the basics of photography such as composition and lighting and finding the right kind of backgrounds for portraits, and progressed to becoming familiar with a camera as an extension of themselves. More importantly, the class encouraged students to exercise their voice in sharing their story and how they see the world around them.
The conclusion of the program resulted in showcasing the student's work in a public art gallery in Phnom Penh known as the Meta House, Cambodia's first media/art/communication center. Each print sold raised funds for the Tiny Toones Youth Center and the students.
Since then, "The World Through Our Eyes" photo exhibit toured to Philadelphia, PA where Jen May partnered with a local community advocate, Mia-Lia Kiernan, and the Asian Arts Initiative as a visiting Artist-in-Residence funded by a grant from the Visual Artists Network of NPN. During that time she worked with high school youth in the local area discussing how photography could be used as a tool for change and created opportunities for participants to explore their neighborhood with a camera with the day ending with in-depth group critiques. In addition, the exhibit was featured at the First Friday Chinatown Crawl and was highlighted at her guest presentation at the Society of Photojournalists.
"The World Through Our Eyes" also toured to Honolulu, Hawaii, and to Visalia, California where Jen May currently resides. The tour raised $2,000 for the Tiny Toones Youth Center in Cambodia, and is a vibrant statement by youth countering the stereotypes of artistic and emotional desolation in the developing world.
Thank you to the following sponsors who helped made this all possible:
Meta House Cambodia
Asian Arts Initiative
Visual Artists Network
Bay Photo Lab
Fast Track Photographer
Kubota Image Tools
DNL Photo Packaging
Friends and Family