Kids with Viewpoints



From arts writer Nick Smith:

The new photography show A Global Insight launched this weekend, with the artists present at the CofC’s Addlestone Library, alternately running around, causing a fuss and looking bored.

While that might sound like the behavior of most artists I’ve come across, these were all aged 6-16. Through the Eyes of Kids exhibits black and white photos taken by them via the local “Viewpoint” project, and the results are a mixed bag, with shots of shoes, grinning friends, and street scenes.

On the advice of curator Gene Furchgott, I interviewed the kids. They weren’t impressed by my journalistic credentials, and they had as many questions for me as I did for them. What was I doing there? What was I writing? Why was I an American? (I didn’t say they were straightforward questions).

Kids with Cameras, the Calcutta, India-based initiative that stands alongside “Viewpoint” in the show, prides itself on training its photographers in lighting, composition, the development of point-of-view, editing and sequencing for narrative. The “Viewpoint” kids had other ideas. Although the project gives them basic lessons, they told me “we just pick whatever we like.”

“I just squeeze the button and that’s it,” said one lad from Charleston’s lower East Side. Furchgott admits that the kids have ideas of their own, taking shots from angles that wouldn’t even have crossed his mind.

Watching the Charleston kids bounce around the library, I was amazed that they could stay still long enough to take a good shot. But the proof is in the exhibition itself – frank, creative, vigorous camerawork, right there in black and white. -NS

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