BEHIND THE SCENES WITH SNAPSHOT KOLKATA
Snapshot Leader, Elizabeth Lucy, reflects on the project in partnership with Her Future Coalition + EkTara.
In 2018, 10 incredible students learned to tell their stories through 100cameras Snapshot Kolkata in India. In partnership with Her Future Coalition which engages in long term programs that give sex trafficking survivors the tools to overcome tremendous stigma and advance far above the poverty line, transforming their identity and social status. Her Future Coalition also supports preventative measures through sponsoring community centers in some of Kolkata’s poorest communities. EkTara, one of Her Future’s School Sponsorship sites, educates 750 kids (mostly girls who would otherwise not be going to school) in the Topsia slum community of Kolkata, where girls are vulnerable to child labor, child marriage and other forms of gender violence.
On a moment during the course where you recognized much student growth: When we got to the mindmap timeline exercise, after I showed them mine as an example, the room was silent, diligently working…I really saw it click that this was an opportunity to dive deep and tell their story beyond the surface of their immediate home surroundings.
On connecting with the students through sharing their perspectives: Going through my students photos every week, seeing their world through their eyes took my breath away. Seeing their excitement as I clicked through their work also touched me deeply. Especially from Nargis. She's a natural storyteller and has an extremely keen eye.
On the effects of the local partner organization's work in the community, and ultimately, the students’ lives: EkTara is an extremely welcoming, nurturing, progressive, bright light situated in an extremely conservative, underserved, community that is quite literally interwoven through garbage dump sites and leather tanneries. EkTara is an oasis for the children. It's also a guaranteed wholesome meal. It's also adult education for the kids' parents. I think that it serves directly both the children and the parents makes it all the more effective. The entire community looks to it as a beacon of hope and progress.
On celebrating with the students: The kids were absolutely proud to complete the course. The last day we had a graduation ceremony and did a pop-up gallery of their prints. We invited neighboring classes to come view. I broke the students up into three groups and gave them each a set of prints, no duplicates. It was a good exercise in the art of curation and also appreciating one another's work.