Handing cameras to the marginalized remains a powerful way to make visible human experiences and the complexities of social injustice that would otherwise go largely unrevealed. We saw it a couple years ago with the documentary film "Born into Brothels" about Kids With Cameras, the organization founded by Zana Briski to help educate the children of Calcutta's prostitutes, and children worldwide, through learning the art of photography.
Word of another such project arrived in Worldchanging's inbox last week: the Border Film Project. The idea came to Brett Huneycutt, Victoria Criado, and Rudy Adler as they shot a documentary along the United States-Mexico border. They have distributed hundreds of disposable cameras to two groups at odds along the border: undocumented Mexican immigrants crossing the desert into the U.S., and "Minutemen" -- self-styled guardians of the border on the U.S. side.
Sometimes the images are set against dramatic and classic vistas of the American West, the landscape that has provided the backdrop for waves of migration -- vast open spaces with mesas in the distance. But often they're of the most basic details of daily life -- from the friends relaxing on a Minuteman's backyard patio, to a cluster of backpacks and water bottles on the floor of a migrant's waystation. The team says on the project website that they wanted to "simplify the complexities of immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border and show the realities on the ground." The project has gotten over 1,500 photos back so far, and a few exhibitions are already scheduled for this year.
Here is another border project that is going on now that might be interesting to you guys.
Maybe they will photograph the tons of litter and excrement the illegals leave along riparian areas / watersheds.
Then again, maybe not.