Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Exhibit up in Ottawa!

Habari everyone!
For the first time in a while, the photos from this project are being exhibited in Ottawa. They went up recently at The Green Door Restaurant and will be on display until Saturday, August 21. So far, response has been quite positive so I'd like to encourage you to go check it out and have some yummy food!

The photos cover the walls of the restaurant but here's a quick shot of one of the walls.

And some more precise informations:

Une innocence en morceaux
Photographs by Kenyan HIV orphans / Photographie par des orphelins kényans affectés par le VIH

Presented by the Tumaini Children’s Project / présenté par le Tumaini Children’s Project

du 25 juillet au 21 août 2010 | July 25 - August 21, 2010
The Green Door Restaurant
198, rue Main Street Ottawa (Ontario) K1S 1C6
ouvert du mardi au dimanche 11h à 21h | open Tuesday to Sunday 11 am - 9 pm

Also, to stay on top of what the Tumaini Children's Project has been doing this summer, be sure to follow @TumainiChildPrj on Twitter!

Thanks all of you for your support!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Summer workshop recap & World Youth Conference

Fall is in full swing and we're planning some exhibits for 2010 but we're here to quickly let you know about something rad we were up to this summer.

Paul was invited to teach a photography workshop to kids at the Jaku Konbit summer camp in Ottawa. It was essentially a mini-Piga Picha workshop where he taught kids (and a few keen adults!) some basics in expressing themselves with photography.

Here's a pair of photos taken by the kids

We're all super impressed with the skills each participant showed after even one lesson. Hopefully they all continue practicing around their neighbourhood! This workshop really showed that with after taking several hundred photos taken on each one during workshops in Kenya, Toronto and Ottawa, some of our cameras are approaching the end of their lives. Lets see how much longer they last...

Here's a photo of Paul teaching the workshop

Also, in August 2008, Alyssa was invited to make a presentation at the World Youth Congress in Québec City. Pretty huge. She met tonnes of wicked people there and had an awesome time. This conference was so soon after our trip to Kenya and everything was so so fresh. Something she just found though is a book that details all the projects featured at the World Youth Conference last year. What a neat thing to look back on. This is being distributed worldwide which is pretty amazing. Our page can be seen below but you can download the whole thing if you want at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Video about Kenyan photography project

From Kenya to kissing and back again...

When we were in Kenya last July, I committed to making a short video about the project and I'm very happy to say that it's now ready!

It wasn't easy though. We interviewed a few people in Kenya and when I came back, eager to get working on it, I tried listening to the interviews but somehow, while looking at the photos was easy, hearing these voices that I knew were now so far away was a real struggle.

Anyway, I finally, got the courage to sit down and listen to them late last year and started editing...putting sound to images. I miss the kids so much, it's still weird to hear their voices but I hope that I've done them justice and I hope that you can take something from their stories.

Josephat. Good dude. Always wanting to make photo. HIV+ but one of the most healthy looking of the bunch. (Photo by Felix Ojuang)

The touring Pieces of Innocence exhibit that has been going on since October 2008 has 16 photos in total and so far, that's pretty much all the public has seen. This video is special because it features 66 photos and interviews with two kids (Lorine and Peter) along with Sister Philomena who managed the orphanage.

It's 7 minutes 27 seconds long so as far as internet videos go, it's kind of a behemoth but please do watch. The kids deserve it for real.

A page from Lorine's photography journal. This guy was totally joksing.

Also, the song the kids are singing at the start and end goes something like "Sisi watoto tuna akisetu" which is Kiswahili for "We, the children, have rights." The best part about this song was that the kids first sang it to us when we gave them soccer balls. Reacting to some kids who didn't want to share, others joined together in a loud chorus as if not getting a ball of their own was a human rights violation up there with child trafficking. Oh so adorable and oh so real.

Watch it here

And since we're so web savvy:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Piga Picha Toronto

After the success of Piga Picha Kenya, in October 2008 we started similar "Kids with Cameras" program in Toronto. This time, however, we ran the program  in the classroom of a  local public school where Joanna Weis (a member of the Piga Picha team) teaches grade 7.  Each of the 15 children, after hearing the  Piga Picha story, received a camera that had been previously used by one of the orphans at St.Clares during the Piga Picha Kenya project.  It truly seemed to motivate the students in Toronto to hear of the children who had taken a similar adventure half a world away
Through the weeks we created various exercises and field trips to help expand their vision of what it meant to communicate through photography.  In explaining why they had taken a certain shot at a certain angle, the students began sharing their feelings and thoughts.  The young students used the photography lessons as a mode of self expression and also developed critical thinking skills--this artistic and emotional development is so important to the discovery of their identities and their role as innovators, social reformers, and leaders. 

For the first couple of weeks while I got to know the students at the school I was constantly reminded of children from Kisumu.  Children regardless of circumstances often need the same things: a sense of community, a sense of being understood, someone to listen.  When asked to photograph their school, their neighbourhood, city, family, and selves the children often brought back photos that were not only poignant but also a distinct record of the times that we live in.  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Black History & Toronto Exhibit

Habari?! It's been a while but we've all been pretty busy. Prints of the photos from Pieces of Innocence are still for sale so get in touch if you'd like more information on buying a photo! We're always looking for volunteers too.

When I last wrote, it was a few days before a one-night showing of the photos during a Christmas concert in Ottawa presented by Ferline Regis. The photos were well received and we were even able to raise some money for future projects.

More recently, we showed the photos during a Black History Month event at the National Library and Archives of Canada. The exhibition was alongside a screening presented by Partnership Africa Canada and the Colours of Africa Film Festival. Everyone was so nice and the screening, a presentation of four of the six episodes of Africa Dreaming was super interesting too.

Serious thanks to Godwin, Sanjay and Sarah at Black History Ottawa for inviting us to be involved with this event. Thanks again to Ferline for having us be part of her concert in December. A huge huge huge thanks to anyone who attended these events and is now reading this blog. After the kids, this is basically for you so hopefully you like what we're doing.

Meawhile, Alyssa in Toronto has been crazy busy planning an exhibit at Tan Coffee (992 Queen Street West) for March. This should be pretty fun. If you're in Toronto, please do check it out! There will be an opening on March 12...more info to come.

And now, a few photos from the two events I just talked about...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One night showing December 16!

This coming Tuesday, December 16, 2008, Pieces of Innocence, the collection of photos captured by Kenyan HIV orphans in July 2008, will be shown during a benefit concert presented by Ottawa singer Ferline Regis.

This Christmas gospel concert is an annual event and this year, the Tumaini Children's Project was selected as the beneficiary! This is a pretty exciting opportunity for us to continue sharing the stories and hope with people in the community here.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at the Orléans Theatre (225 Centrum Blvd, Ottawa). Doors open at 6:30pm. Admission is by donation.

Come out and support this event!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sale is done. Bits of news!

The Pieces of Innocence exhibit at Foreign Affairs headquarters in Ottawa is now over. Thanks to everyone who went to check it out. I'm still amazed by how these photos made it so far.

If any of you have thoughts of the images, feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks also to everyone that purchased one! If you were interested in getting one but missed the auction, get in touch and we might be able to sort something out!

This weekend, the images will be on display during a private function in Parliament and on December 16, they'll be shown at a Christmas concert. This concert is a benefit for the Tumaini Children's Project and should be quite awesome. I'll post more information about it when it becomes available.

Things with TCP are getting to be pretty exciting. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!