info 03.15.05

Kids with Cameras

Pairing a kid and a camera may not be a Kodak moment to many young Americans today, but put a camera into the hands of children in Calcutta — specifically, disenfranchised kids born to prostitutes — teach them about photography, and let them point and shoot, well, what transpires turns out to be an object lesson in the transformative power of art.

That's what Zana Briski did between 2000 and 2003 and the resulting extraordinary images by those kids and the process of discovery were documented in the film "Born Into Brothels," directed by Ms. Briski and Ross Kauffman. It recently won the Academy Award for best documentary and you can see it at these theatres around town.

But this notion of working with children doesn't end with an Oscar. Kids with Cameras, based downtown, is founding a school for these and other marginalized children of Calcutta. KWC will also be working with kids in Cairo, Haiti, and Jerusalem on similar projects. You can support this inspired organization by buying the "Born Into Brothels" companion book ($35 here), buying one of the fantastic prints of the kids' work ($250 and $500 here), contribute, or get your company to cough up some serious bucks and become a sponsor.

A simple act, putting a camera into the hands of a child — but it turns out that looking through a viewfinder changes the way they see the world.

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