Teaching Photography & Advocacy to D.C. Youth

$23,866 $26,134
Raised Remaining
Feb 3, 2010

Critical Exposure teaches photography classes in southeast DC

A new library at Ballou. Taken by Devonte, 11th grade.
A new library at Ballou. Taken by Devonte, 11th grade.

Critical Exposure spent the fall and winter teaching two series of photography workshops to students at Martin Luther King Elementary School and Ballou Senior High School, both in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.

At MLK Elementary, students completed photo essays and captions on changes they wished to see in their schools and neighborhoods. "Dear Mayor Fenty," wrote one sixth grader, Kayla, in a letter to accompany her photos of an abandoned library building. "I am afraid we have an issue that is involving our buildings in our community. Our public libraries have writing on the walls but they carry such beautiful books. Imagine how it affects people!"

At Ballou High School, students created photo essays in response to questions such as, "What is Education?" Their photos depicted decrepit school facilities like unused lockers, bathrooms without paper or hot water, broken heating and cooling systems, and fire damage in the school hallways. The students also chose to document their school's assets, including a new library, gym, and football field.

See below for some of our students' work from this fall. Thanks for all your support empowering students to advocate for school reform through documentary photography!

Fire damage at Ballou. Taken by Da
Fire damage at Ballou. Taken by Da'Sha, 11th grade

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Project Leader

Adam Levner

Washington, D.C. United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Teaching Photography & Advocacy to D.C. Youth