Students in the Bronx Junior Photo League (BJPL), the Bronx Documentary Center’s (BDC) free documentary storytelling and college success program for 6th through 12th grade students, have been documenting social justice issues and community-based stories since 2013.
The 2020 Photoville Festival Education Month is proudly presented in partnership with PhotoWings with additional support by the Philip and Edith Leonian Foundation.
Featuring: Bronx Junior Photo League students Elisa Luna Cameron, Ana Carmona, Reynaldo Olivera,Pamela Rozon
Moderator: Fanta Diop
Students in the Bronx Junior Photo League (BJPL), the Bronx Documentary Center’s (BDC) free documentary storytelling and college success program for 6th through 12th grade students, have been documenting social justice issues and community-based stories since 2013. The BJPL–and the work the students make–is the heart of the BDC’s mission: to use community-based documentary practice and education to explore vital issues, stimulate critical thought, and drive social change.
In March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the BDC made the decision to suspend all programs and move to remote learning. Our students, who are used to working in a program based on the ability to go outside and photograph in the community, quickly learned to turn their lens to the vulnerable space of their private lives. They created visual and written explorations of their experiences during this time, using photography as a tool of reflection and connection with themselves, their families, and their communities.
The Bronx Documentary Center is an accessible, community-oriented gallery and educational space located in Melrose, one of New York City’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. Melrose is the proud home to immigrants from around the globe, including many from the Caribbean, West Africa, Mexico, and South and Central America. To serve the Melrose community, the BDC opens up local discussions through film and photography and provides access to world-class exhibitions and screenings, all the while being fully rooted in the concerns and needs of Bronx residents. Additionally, the BDC not only employs Bronx residents, but also promotes educational programming that empowers our neighbors to tell their own stories. By carving out a unique arts space, the BDC seeks to encourage Bronx residents to participate in the vibrant culture of Melrose and beyond.