Youth Program with the Bronx Documentary Center
Bronx Documentary Center
Most of our programs at the VII Academy are aimed at visual journalists who are either embarking on their career or who work in the media already but need the boost a more formal education can provide. However, this autumn we’re reaching out to a new group of young people and community members with a commitment to photojournalism, with the goal of engaging them with the integral skills of journalism and ethics.
This fall, we partnered with the Bronx Documentary Center in order to reach young adults who showed promise in the BDC’s programs and who wanted to extend their journalism training. The Bronx Documentary Center provides free education programs for middle and high school students as well as a professional education program for historically underrepresented adult Bronx-based photographers.
Ashley Gilbertson of VII Photo Agency and Michael Kamber, director of the BDC, are running a workshop over eight weeks to train ten participants in the fundamentals of photojournalism—not just how to shoot, but why to shoot, how to write, and then how to run a business doing exactly that.
Made up of nine women and one man from diverse backgrounds in the New York City borough of the Bronx, the course is in its sixth week. Future topics include editing, and business practices and ethics. The course will end with a final project from each student, who will choose a focus early in the course to develop with Ash and Mike.
“There are so many inspired ideas from the students,” Ash says, “It’s great to see aspiring Bronx photographers have access to an experienced photojournalist–a university level photojournalism class for free.” Mike adds.
“I always like all these things about photojournalism,” says Maria, one of the participants. “I love when I do it–it’s often hard to make time because I work, but I can say the hardest days, the most productive days, are my favorite.”