I recently ran a photography workshop for people who are blind, vision impaired, had suffered a stroke, forgotten seniors, physical disabilities and mental illnesses. I received funding to run this workshop from the Moreland City council, but not enough to complete my project outcome.
The people who attended, attended at no fee, the idea is that they are given an opportunity to gain access to the arts without having to worry about paying fees to attend the workshops. The feedback from all who attended was astonishing. Many felt alive for the first time, as they realised that they could achieve something that they never would have dreamed possible. The person who had suffered a stroke, realised that holding a camera and trying to use it, helped with his rehabilitation as it forced him to use the other side of this body, which was affected by the stroke.
The senior citizen had found new friends and realised that she has a real knack for taking photos. She hardly ventured out of her home and would never have imagined that she would be taking photographs so late in life. She has teamed up with the blind woman, who loves going out and about, but needs some assistance. Together they now venture out and take photographs.
The gentleman with mental illness was able to express himself in a very real way, but taking the focus away from himself and putting it into his photos.
I used the money that I received from the grant, to pay a vision impaired photographer to help run the course. This provided them with an opportunity to earn some money teaching and to share what he had learnt. It also gave him confidence that strengthened belief in himself.
The idea behind the project is to give people who are disadvantaged in some way access to the arts by giving them opportunities to explore their creative side.
Funded by Melbourne (August 2014)