Snapshot project: KOLKATA
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In 2018, 10 incredible students learned to tell their stories through 100cameras Snapshot Kolkata in Kolkata, India. In partnership with Her Future Coalition (HFC), a US-based nonprofit that 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. Through a relationship with HFC, the 100cameras Snapshot Project with EkTara came to be.
Muslims can experience discriminations as a minority group in India, and the students from Snapshot Kolkata reside in the largest slum in Kolkata that is home to Muslims. Most do not have running water in their homes, private washrooms or nearby access to filtered, safe water. Some have lived without a proper shelter to call home. Despite all of this, the students work hard to pursue education by maintaining placement at a subsidized private school and to study through daily tutoring at the EkTara center, where they also receive a large nutritious meal every day of the week. Not a class went by without a request for Bollywood music and dance breaks, a testament to their vibrant spirit.
During the course, the students and their families especially loved the opportunity to take each other’s portraits. On the final day of class, a pop up gallery was held to showcase their work. The girls were thrilled to share their photographs with their peers and teachers in the neighboring classes.
100% of proceeds from the students' photo sales will go directly back to EkTara to further the educational programs in their community by providing much-needed supplies for the kids and their peers.
ABOUT THE SNAPSHOT PROJECT LEADER
Snapshot Project Leader, Elizabeth Lucy, left a small Brooklyn-based non-profit human rights documentary organization to teach English through the Fulbright program in Kolkata, India, working at the first all-girls school in Asia, Bethune Collegiate School. From one role helping to give individuals with powerful stories a filmic world stage to another role working to help young women lean into the power of their voice and realize their potential through education. In Kolkata, she was connected to the partner organization, EkTara.
Elizabeth believes strongly that education is a key to improving women’s rights. She also believes photography can be an incredibly empowering tool--something she turned to when she was an angsty teenager. She has now seen first-hand through leading her first Snapshot Project just how storytelling through photography can improve self-worth. Elizabeth is grateful to have had such a personal invitation to see into students’ lives through their own perspectives, something she’d never see through a writing assignment or a home visit-- her presence alone changing the honest dynamic. She feels it’s a great honor to be able to see her students world through their own eyes.
Snapshot Project Kolkata was powered by our friends at ONA.
STUDENT IMAGE GALLERY
Follow us on social media to see images from the field as captured by the Snapshot Kolkata project leader and the student photographers.