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Community Education Projects:
MTV/Young Refugees Photo Project

community education at zoom in

The Refugee Council
This is the main organisation in the UK working with refugees and asylum seekers. It offers advice, support and training to refugees, and is also one of the main campaigning voices for refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights. The Brixton branch of the Refugee Council runs a weekly drop-in evening for young unaccompanied refugees, which is where this course took place.

Satellite TV station MTV has an annual initiative to encourage its employees to take part in voluntary work to benefit the community. As part of this initiative, MTV funded this course, and also allowed some of their employees to take time off work to take part as volunteers. This enabled us to have a really high ratio of volunteer helpers to participants, and ensure that all the participants could get individual help and attention; it also enabled us to help with language barriers by having French-speaking volunteers from MTV on hand to translate, which was useful because many of the participants were French speakers.This course was funded by MTV

Young Refugees’ Photography Course
This was a 3-session course in camera and art skills aimed specifically at young, unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers who attend the Refugee Council’s Brixton drop-in on Tuesday evenings. The course took place during the drop-in itself, from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesdays.

The participants were young refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world, most of whom had not been in England very long. Some had secured college/school places, but some are still waiting. Most speak at least some English; the most common language after English was French, so Zoom In and MTV recruited a team of French-speaking volunteers to help out.

Participants learned how to use an SLR camera, and produced portrait images of each other, taking a creative approach to the idea of what a ‘portrait’ is, and playing with different angles and lighting to create different effects. They then created collage from the photos they had produced. Finally, they went out in small groups to take street portraits of passers by in Brixton, asking their models for comments on what they thought of Brixton. The resulting portraits were displayed at (where?) The collages and some of the images from the first session were displayed (at the Refugee Council?)

February 2004

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