ICP Community Programs: Teen Storytellers Impacting Change is a panel featuring current students and alumni in conversation on the roles that photography plays in fostering self-confidence, community building, and social change, especially now during these unprecedented times.
Presenters: Arianna Williams Anju Myroll Annette Palacios Esai Velazquez
Moderators: Roy Baizan
Photoville Festival 2021 Sessions On-demand recordings are made possible thanks to our partner, PhotoWings.
ICP’s Community Partnerships and Teen Academy together serve over 900 young people throughout the city each year by developing their knowledge of photography, critical thinking, writing, and public speaking. Current students and alumni from these programs will share their images and writing, and reflect on the roles that photography plays in fostering self-confidence, community building, and social change. Roy Baizan, ICP Community Programs alum, will moderate the panel and facilitate the discussion about the student panelists’ individual and shared experiences in Community Programs. Each panelist will share a portfolio of their images along with a prepared written piece to reflect ICP’s curricular focus. The panel will conclude with a dynamic discussion among the participants and the audience of youth photographers in an effort to engage in a greater dialogue about how photography can serve as a platform for youth to tell their own stories, build community, and impact change.
This panel is part of Photoville Education. See the full lineup here.
Arianna Williams is a teen activist and organizer based in NYC. As a photographer and filmmaker, Arianna has dedicated their art to creating spaces and telling stories that are often misrepresented or disregarded in mainstream media. Arianna has participated in various programs within the Teen Academy at the International Center of Photography including their yearlong Imagemakers program. They have had multiple films accepted into a variety of film festivals, including the Girl Improved Film and Television Festival (GIFT Fest), winning the “Audience Award” in 2020, and the “Best of the Fest” Award in 2021.
Throughout their work, Arianna explores common themes of growth, self reflection within different spaces, and the elaborate interconnections between themselves and those around them. In their photo series “Silent Presence” as well as their film Eyes Behind the Frame, Arianna has highlighted stories and experiences of black, LGBTQ+, woman/femme bodied and gender non-conforming, youth. Their current work is within research concerning the criminalization that young black girls experience in NYC public high schools due to their intersectionality. When they are not doing research, Arianna enjoys planning their future to travel the world.
Anju Myrrol is an analog and digital photographer born in New York City and works primarily in their neighborhood of Harlem. They are a student at Hunter College High School, where they photograph for two newspapers. Anju has received a photographic education from the Expanding the Walls program at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Imagemakers program at the International Center of Photography. They were a part of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s first online exhibition, Hearts in Isolation, the final online exhibition for Imagemakers, and won a Gold Key for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Their work has branched into photography of their family in India and Jamaica, along with an examination of their own belonging in Harlem. They have also explored their own gender and racial identities through various photographic projects and writing. Their photography is inspired by a close studying of people they surround themselves with along with the rhythm of their neighborhood and city. Anju’s work is influenced by photographers like Catherine Opie, Latoya Ruby-Frazier, and Deana Lawson.
Annette Palacios (b. 2003 Brooklyn, NY; based in NYC) is a Chicana photographer working across several genres and themes of identity, family, culture, religion, and otherness to help better understand her heritage and the people she surrounds herself with. Her work usually takes on the form of portraiture; she finds inspiration in the daily interactions between people and their environments and the colors that materialize in nature and on NYC streets. Palacios plans to major in film/television production while at Hunter College to further strengthen her storytelling abilities through moving image and sound.
Esai Velasquez is an Afro-Latino photographer based in Queens, New York. Working primarily as a digital photographer, his work has moved from observational and street photography to exploring abstraction and portraiture. His work takes inspiration from filmmakers like Wong Kar-Wai and the A24 film company. Esai’s most recent work has documented the life of his family through the past year. His work has strongly focused on the usage of natural and artificial lighting, vibrant color, and close detail to communicate his emotional connection to photography as a whole and his family. He has previously studied photography in the Teen Academy Imagemakers program at the International Center of Photography and youth media video production at the Downtown Community Television Center. He is currently studying photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Roy Baizan is a Chicanx documentary photographer and arts educator from the Bronx whose work focuses on community, environment, and identity.
Shortly after graduating from the International Center of Photography’s Teen Programming they became a teaching assistant. This would put them on a path to become an educator focusing on empowering the city’s youth through visual storytelling and community service. They have since worked for The Bronx Documentary Center, The Point, The Bronx River Art Center, and ICP continuing to pass forward the opportunities that were awarded to them and creating safe, supportive learning spaces for social change.
In 2018 they graduated from the Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice Program at ICP with the support of the Wall Street Journal Scholarship and Board of Directors Scholarship. Recently Photoville has featured them as an artist to watch in 2020. Their work has been published in The New York Times, America Magazine, The Intercept, Remezcla, and HBO Latino among many others.
In 2021, they were awarded the Enfoco Fellowship as well as The Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellowship.
The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to champion “concerned photography” — socially and politically minded images that can educate and change the world. Through our exhibitions, education programs, community outreach, and public programs, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the power of the image.