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A SNAPSHOT OF AFRICA: EYE SEE initiative unveils photos by Malian children

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Alex Martin
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+44 (0)20 7492 0977

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EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Abdoulaye Cisse
EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Abdoulaye Cisse
EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Giacomo Pirozzi
EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Giacomo Pirozzi
EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Korotim Djire
EYE SEE - © Copyright UNICEF and Korotim Djire

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As part of global annual celebrations for Day of the African Child on June 16, Sony Europe has today unveiled photographs from the sixth EYE SEE initiative, an annual workshop held in partnership with UNICEF, giving vulnerable African children the opportunity to learn about photography and tell their stories through images.

Held from April 13 to 17 this year in Bamako, the capital of Mali, the photographs capture life in the city as seen through the eyes of a group of twenty boys and girls aged 10-18yrs.They capture the children’s daily lives and explore common themes ranging from playfulness and humour to the harsh realities of extreme poverty and child labour; issues included in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi led the group in an intensive week-long workshop, equipping them with a Sony digital camera and teaching them the core photography techniques necessary to go out and shoot the pictures. The children’s photographs are so expressive that it is difficult to believe that most of them are using a camera for the first time.

What is the EYE SEE initiative?

  • Developed as an exercise in non-formal education, the EYE SEE initiative aims to give children a voice by promoting participation and diversity of expression, as well as highlighting key issues in the community through the medium of photography.

  • Vulnerable children and adolescents were selected to learn about photography, and at the same time strengthen their social skills and enjoy a safe space to learn about their rights.

  • The workshop was facilitated by UNICEF Mali and implemented by local partners The Association of Working Children (AEJT) and the Centre for the Promotion of Training in Photography (CFP). It is part of a larger initiative that also includes the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV Mali) to build the capacity of AEJT.

  • Previous initiatives by Sony and UNICEF have been held in Pakistan, Liberia, Rwanda, Madagascar, South Africa and Ethiopia.

How is Sony involved?
Sony has been a long-term partner of UNICEF and is the sole supporter of EYE SEE, actively contributing to every workshop over the last six years.

In addition, this year Sony donated 12 VAIO laptop computers and 25 Sony Cybershot digital cameras in order to help offer further workshops to marginalised youth and provide opportunities for children to learn about photography and social media.

Last year, EYE SEE also formed part of the Sony World Photography Award’s ’Focus Award’, with winners working as part of the initiative to highlight the Rights of the Child, UNICEF’s core vision for that year.

What happens next?
Throughout 2011, photographs by the children will be featured in a series of exhibitions around the world, beginning in Mali on June 16 to mark Day of the African Child.

Quotes
Hidemi Tomita, General Manager of CSR Department at Sony Corporation said:
“Sony has been supporting the EYE SEE project since 2006, and is proud to be a partner in a project that gives vulnerable children their first experience of capturing the world around them through the camera lens. Photography allows them to tell their stories and we are always astonished by the power of images expressed by the children.”

Giacomo Pirozzi, UNICEF photographer, said:
“Photography is an amazing tool for children who have never been to school. The camera becomes an easy way for them to show what they feel.”

Kanyankore Marcel Rudasingwa, from UNICEF Mali said:
“Photography is a way to give young people a voice and progressively allows them to be change agents in their families and their country.”

Further details:

Click here to view the photos on the official EYE SEE website.

Click here to watch a video about EYE SEE (UK version).

Click here to watch a video about EYE SEE (French language version).

For more information:
Alex Martin
alex.martin@77pr.co.uk
020 7492 0977

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