Photo fortnight

Two weeks go by fast. We didn’t do a proper exhibition in the end; the timing felt a bit too tight to select photos and get them printed before I left, partly because there was no power to use computers when we needed to. Instead, I sent the group out to do some video interviewing (luckily I had spare batteries). Day one of video worked really well – they liked getting out to a new place and asking and answering questions on camera. Day two was hard work though. The group wanted to practice by interviewing teachers and school pupils but got caught up in the labyrinthine formalities of sitting in the headmaster’s office trying to explain their reasons. Finally, the HM, as they’re known here, sent three pupils out to answer the group’s  questions, but they were all so terrified and shy that they could barely be heard on camera, while the teacher has asked them to do it all over again when they’ve had more time to prepare. It was, I guess, a useful learning experience…

So, what was the real value of all of this? Vincent and Zai joined in the photography classes but were most excited by what I showed them how to do on the computer – resizing and uploading photos to Facebook, sending them as email attachments, adding pictures to documents and using basic Excel. I left them with handwritten instructions in case they forget; the organisation is also about to get a desktop computer so hopefully they’ll be practising all of this soon.

Sarah came back with the camera having captured shots of life in Busembatia that I’d never have been able to get, so I helped her select and caption the best ones. Here are some of my favourites:

Hanging clothes to dry copy

Bringing stones to the school for building

And Suzan, who teaches crafts with Sarah, took pictures of their Saturday class, working hard to capture the action from different angles as we’d practised, and making sure she’d covered the process of bead-making from start to finish. The final series will soon be up on Etsy – here’s a taster:

When a woman brings her baby, it shows she is serious about the project - she still works hard even if she is looking after her child at the same time! (Photo and caption by Suzan)

When a woman brings her baby, it shows she is serious about the project – she still works hard even if she is looking after her child at the same time! (Photo and caption by Suzan)

Making bags: First, count enough beads. We use a fishing line (“kabamajji”) for joining beads to form bags. We also use golden (metal) beads to join the bags. You need to buy cloth, large and small zips, foam (“akaffareso”), and then you get a tailor to make the inner bag. (Photo and caption by Suzan)

Making bags: First, count enough beads. We use a fishing line (“kabamajji”) for joining beads to form bags. We also use golden (metal) beads to join the bags. You need to buy cloth, large and small zips, foam (“akaffareso”), and then you get a tailor to make the inner bag. (Photo and caption by Suzan)

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