1st international photography workshops for people with intellectual disabilities.
Project supported by the International Visegrad Fund
Matter and objective of the project:
The objective of the project is to organise a five-day educational meeting for the mentally handicapped and photography instructors. The meeting aims at:
- providing the mentally disabled with an opportunity to gain new cognitive, intellectual and social skills including the practical ability to take pictures,
- developing professional skills for instructors, teachers and photography animators as well as increasing the knowledge needed for teaching photography lessons with the mentally disabled.
Detailed project description:
Photography is a part of the art therapy used more and more while working with intellectually disabled people. Picture taking influences cognitive and social development, sharpens the perceptiveness and the ability of focusing attention. It also increases our sensitivity to the surroundings. The five days of educational meeting in a Training Centre in Wąsosze will prepare the instructors for future work with the mentally handicapped.
The participants of the workshops will be divided into 6 groups (each group will include photography instructors and the mentally disabled together with their caregivers). Those groups will be assigned photography tasks by the people conducting a given activity.
For each group, the activities run by qualified photographers and art therapists will take place in turns. There will be 6 types of workshops:
Description of the workshop modules
A. Digital darkroom - the basics of digital photo manipulation with the use of a computer (coordinator: (trained instructor – indoors)
B. Photography history – old cameras exhibition, presentation of the most important photographs from the historical perspective, learning to select and assess photographs (trained instructor – indoors)
C. Upside down – a show of age-old optical gadgets for copying and projecting images, individual building of a pinhole projector
(trained instructor – open air or indoors)
D. Looking carefully and catching up with our thoughts – looking for interesting views with the help of a camera viewfinder, naming of the spots discovered, joint photographing using a large format box camera and photo development
(coordinator: Paweł Kula – open air)
E. A tale of the other Man - portraying – each participant creates their own portrait out of the picture taken by another participant with the use of simple tools (mimics, gestures, background colour, props)
(coordinator: Maria Stafyniak – open air or indoors)
F. Photographing without a camera – composing images out of small objects, leaves, using palms and exposing the photosensitive paper without a camera. Each participant comes up with a word that would make the best title for the image created.
(coordinator: trained instructor – open air)
Target groups and groups benefiting from the project:
The participants of the workshops include:
- 40 people with mild and moderate intellectual disability from therapeutic centres and special schools in Poland (20), Hungary (7), Slovakia (6) and Czech Republic (7),
- 12 experienced photography enthusiasts as photography instructors,
- 12 direct caregivers of the mentally handicapped persons from Poland (5), Hungary (3), Slovakia (2) and Czech Republic (2),
- 6 professional photographers that will lead the activities and organise the stay.
The project will indirectly benefit the caregivers and instructors participating in the workshops and all the other users of the therapeutic centres the residents of which will have taken part in the workshops as well as those for whom similar workshops will be organised in future. Additionally, people from the places where the exhibition will be held may also benefit from it.
Expected contribution of the project, outputs. If the output is a publication, please specify the estimated number of pages and the expected number of copies to be printed:
The direct follow-up of the workshops will be an exhibition of pictures taken by the mentally disabled which will happen in September 2010 at the WBPICAK gallery in Poznań. Next, the photo collection will be exhibited as a part of the Travelling Gallery of the Wielkopolska Photography in other cultural and educational facilities that were interested in the project. A 50-page catalogue containing at least one photo per each participant and theoretical texts on the nature of the project will be issued in 500 copies. The key institutions which spread and popularise photography in the countries of the Visegrád Group as well as participants of the event will receive the catalogue for free.
Together with the exhibition, the catalogue will help to break the stereotypes
about the mentally disabled.
Planned PR activities (Please enter planned dates, events and media you intend to use as part of your PR activities.):
14.06.2011 – arrival of the participants, accommodation13.00. Dinner14.30. opening of workshops – introductory lectures and multimedia presentations 18.00 Supper
15.06.2011 8.00 Breakfast 9.00 modular activities in groups according to the schedule13.00. Dinner15.00. lake cruise18.00. community bonfire22.30. light effects show (painting with light)
16.06.2011 8.00 Breakfast 9.00 modular activities in groups according to the schedule cont.13.00. Dinner15.00 coach trip to Licheń18. 00 Supper19.00. overview of the participants’ creative work
17.06.2011 8.00. Breakfast 9.00. overview and selection of pictures (in groups)13.00. Dinner15.00 trip to Ślesin – a show in the Culture Centre., open-air museum sightseeing18.00. Supper19.00. diaporama and art movies show
18.06.2011 8.00. Breakfast 9.00. public presentation of the best photos taken by each participant and their analysis13.00. Dinner14.30. public presentation of the best photos taken by each participant and their analysis cont.16.00. formal ending of workshops18.00. Supper19.00. farewell bonfire
19.06.2011 8.00. Breakfast, departure of the participants
Beginning of September 2011 - opening of the after-workshop exhibition.
Previous experience in the field:
Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna i Centrum Animacji Kultury w Poznaniu already has organised similar photo workshops six times:
Gołańcz, 2003 (resulting in an exhibition entitled „Magda Waldek and …the Others”),
Gniezno, 2004 – “Postcards from Gniezno”
Licheń, 2006 – “Phototherapy”
Gniezno, 2007 – “Day-dreaming”
Bielice, 2008 – “Joyful heart”
Wąsosze, 2009 – “Painting with light”
The current project assumes implementing the procedures in the conditions similar to those from the year 2009, that is using the same premises of the Training Centre in Wąsosze and the same experienced art therapists and educators from the Academy of Fine Arts and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Additional support will come from a scientific worker that deals with social integration for the mentally handicapped.
Continuation of the project (Will the project continue after the period proposed in this application? How?):
Realisation and promotion of the project will contribute to the popularity of this form of therapy and education among other organizations, schools, special facilities and assistants for the disabled. It will motivate schools and therapeutic establishments to build photo labs. For these, the group of trained instructors will constitute direct personnel. Their expertise acquired while working with the intellectually disabled will serve as a tool for breaking the prevailing social stereotypes.
The photography exhibition resulting from the workshops will be presented at all the sites that are interested, particularly at galleries in the home cities of the people who participated in the workshops.