By Lara Fishbane, 826DC Intern, Spring 2017
The gallery walk provoked a strong reaction in the students at Bruce Monroe. They responded to pictures of racial injustice with words like “fear” and pictures of resistance with words like “power” and “courage” and “bravery”. Even though the students didn’t know the background of the photos or the circumstances under which they were taken, something universal registered in them. They learned that images can elicit feelings and memories without words.
In the closing weeks of the project, the students had the opportunity to take a turn experimenting with photojournalism. They were asked to think about how they could capture their experiences attending Bruce Monroe through images. The students began brainstorming the places and things that they pass by everyday that together represent the school.
As the students walked the halls of a school that was so familiar to them, they had to think through the lens of outsiders. They stopped to reexamine the murals and portraits and walls that they often passed without thought. Students then had to think about how to make their pictures interesting and different by capturing these everyday scenes from new perspectives. They got on the floor, tilted the angle of the camera, and stood from higher than they’re used to. They started seeing their school differently.
The exercise challenged the students to think about how they could transmute their stories and identity through a different medium: photography. Picking up the camera also encouraged them to think more actively about the daily environment that they passively exist in, and how it has shaped them and their stories.
Lara Fishbane is a senior at Georgetown University studying English and Economics. She is passionate about writing, education reform, and exploring the relation between the two. She’s excited to be working as a Publishing and Production intern with 826DC because she wants to help students express themselves through writing and create meaningful impact. When she’s not interning or studying, you’ll find Lara on long runs, hikes, or just lost in a book.