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Aug 28, 2020

Covid-19 Ends Photo Voice Travelling Exhibit

        

 

Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael

PhotoVoice Exhibit Boston, MA

Shortly before the spread of Covid-19 shut down the United States, the Rosenwald High School student project “Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael,” was exhibited at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Corporate Headquarters in Boston, MA. Nine of the photos were exhibited in a reception. The photos show the UUSC staff watching the students’ video stories on their cell phones. Each photograph was labeled with a QR code, which took the viewer to a videotaped story by the student photographer.

Click on the links below to see the student stories.

Illuminate

https://youtu.be/UGk2x7hyFEk

16x20

Aaliyah

https://vimeo.com/377461860/eca2bc8f21

Refuge

https://youtu.be/VH4rga1toi0

16x21

Aaliyah

Twilight

https://youtu.be/yUo6LVkEcsY

20x24

Aaliyah

Mama

https://youtu.be/Jh-FgbAhZjM

20x24

Cheyenne

https://vimeo.com/376725456/10f6388637

Sister through Trees

https://youtu.be/4ds9CTM3qrc

16x20

Jamiyah

https://vimeo.com/376733784/bd3564c6a4

Hope

https://youtu.be/qoz9eeUa1kI

20x24

Jamiyah

Tattered Green House

https://youtu.be/tvcOpu-Efgg

20x16 H

Mikey

Blue House

https://youtu.be/rm5f6SlTL6Y

20x24

Mikey

Old Hangout

https://youtu.be/i_0Djh57dYE

16X20

Dylan

 

Unfortunately, the PhotoExhibit did not travel throughout Florida as had been the plan. Most venues closed to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Mar 5, 2020

Students PhotoVoice Exhibit "Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael" Goes on Tour

“I just wanted people to feel how I felt whenever I came back home and how I felt about my house being destroyed,” said Kiondis Turntine, a senior at Rosenwald. “It feels good that people are actually coming out to look at the pictures and actually care to look at the pictures and understand them.” (WMBB-TV, Panama City, FL)

Rosenwald students took the stories of their classmates to Florida's State Capitol and told their legislators about their experiences during and after the Catergory 5 Hurricane Michael hit their community on October 10, 2018. The PhotoVoice Project cluminated in a 52-photograph exhibit entitled, Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael.  Fifteen students participated in at least one of the five workshops to create their images, and ten students completed the workshop between October 25, 2019, and November 22, 2019.

All 52 photographs have been displayed in a one-day exhibit at Rosenwald High School and at the Panama City Center for the Arts in Downtown Panama City. Smaller exhibits of 9-15 photographs each have been held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tallahassee, FL; the Florida State Capitol, and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Headquarters on Boston, MA.

"They're willing to listen to us," reflected Rosenwald Senior Blayd Kuhn after his day at the Legislature. "They're actually wanting our input now."

Three of the PhotoVoice students, their Principal and a Paraporfessional participated in the Children's Week activities at the Florida State Capitol on January 28. While there, the students participated in the Teen Town Hall Meeting and met with their State Representative Jay Trumbull and State Senator George Gainer.

"I didn't see how far reaching the project would be," said Rosenwald Principal Chandra Tyson. "It's hard for me to even fathom that a project that started with putting a camera in a person's hand" has had the impact that it has. To the students, Tyson said, "When you all represented yourselves in front of people who can be intimidating to adults, much less to children, that is so huge. Today, we represented neighborhoods that are often underrepresented, underserved in this arena."

Next, a Pop-Up exhibit of 9 photographs will be displayed at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Headquarters in Boston, MA, this month and a dozen photographs will be displayed at the Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network Assembly in Orlando (March 13-14, 2019).  At these events, patrons can access videos of the students talking about their art their photographs by scanning QR codes.

 *All named participants in this report have given permission for their full names to be used.

Rosenwald Students at Florida State Capitol
Rosenwald Students at Florida State Capitol

Links:

Dec 6, 2019

Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael

Rosenwald High School students in Panama City, FL, no longer describe Home as a place with a physical address after experiencing Hurricane Michael, the Category 5 storm that devastated Panama City-Bay County, FL, on October 10, 2018. The Rosenwald students selected for the Photo Voice project are among the more than 2,000 students identified as homeless when school started in August.

Since Hurricane Michael, home has been family. I’ve kind of learned home isn’t a physical place. Home is who you fill your heart with. This physical stuff is temporary. You can always by a new house. You can buy a new car, new shoes, new clothes, but you can’t buy new people. People are unique. I learned that home is family.  ~Blayd

Not only do students continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael with their families, the houses across from the school that are still in disrepair are daily reminders of the destruction. And though they are back in their school, the media center is closed because repairs have not started.

WFSU-News, Tallahassee, FL, reported in October that the numbers of Bay District Schools students dealing with homelessness and/or mental health issues is a crisis. “Before the storm, Bay District Schools were looking at about 700 students that were categorized as homeless. After the storm, that number rose quickly to 5,000. This year so far with the surveys that have been collected, we’re looking at about 2,500 students and that’s not even hearing from all the families,” Rebuild Bay County, Inc., Executive Director Donna Pilson told WFSU.

Fifteen students participated in at least one of the five workshops to create their images, and ten students completed the workshop between October 25, 2019, and November 22, 2019. The Giving Voice to Give Voice to Florida Teenagers' Hurricane Stories - #42187 has completed the classroom portion of the project. After hearing their stories, and the way that their transition into adulthood is so inextricably linked to the disaster they survived, the exhibit is now named Coming of Age in the Eye of Michael. 

Our first exhibit will be at the Rosenwald High School on Dec. 11, 2019, where the participating students will share some of their work with the rest of the student body. The remaining scheduled events are a full exhibition at the Panama City Center for the Arts (Jan 15-31, 2019), Arts Days in Tallahassee (Jan 22-23, 2019 pop-up exhibit), Student Legislator visits in Tallahassee (posters and interviews with legislators in support of FL SB502), and the Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network Assembly in Orlando (March 13-14, 2019).  At these events, patrons can access videos of the students talking about their art their photographs by scanning QR codes.


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