Although students in Triple Exposure’s advanced photography classes are all residents of TYO’s neighborhood, Khallet al-Amood, they don’t always get the chance to explore the community and what it means to them. This is largely due to the socio-economic level of the neighborhood, which is also densely populated by large families who often don’t have the resources to provide opportunities for community engagement. The combination of these factors often result in a lack of identity and investment in themselves and the community.
The Triple Exposure team led kids on a walk through Khallet as part of a lesson on urban photography and community identity. The children were given free reign to photograph any element of Khallet al-Amood that interested them, leading many students to crouch down on sidewalks and climb up hills in order to capture new perspectives of the neighborhood.
After taking an initial set of photographs, students were asked to write down a single word that they thought described Khallet al-Amood now that they had looked at it through a camera lens. The students then photographed themselves holding up their word, resulting in a series of photographs proclaiming the area “old” and “beautiful.” On further prompting, the students argued that they couldn’t express what they felt about Khallet in just one word. Hiba and Noor, ages 12 and 13, decided that the best way to describe their relationship to the neighborhood was through terms normally used for friends or family, like “my dear” or “my love,” because the neighborhood, as they explained, is just like a friend.
Below, Noor is holding up her sign, displaying the word azeezati, or “my dear.”