Featuring: Students of MiRA
This exhibition is two-fold: touching on the themes of representation, gender-based issues, documentary storytelling and collaborative practices. The work is a selection of images created through our Girls Empowerment programming, originally launched in 2020 with Lexi Parra and Natalie Keyssar. For young women in Caracas, who are affected by their country’s crisis and cultural machismo, agency over their own representation is crucial.
Our community portraits made in pop-up studio activities and single images of student work tell a collective narrative.
The photo booth studio challenges the exclusivity of photography by creating studios in public spaces. The transfer of authorship in framing these communities from outsiders, to the next generation of women, emphasizes the importance of insider perspectives, and questions the radical potential of the photograph and practice of photography as tools to teach about agency, identity, and autonomy. Since our first community photo booth, we saw the power and potential of these young women to not only create their own archive of portraiture, but to also redefine how they interact with and see themselves and their communities making it a crucial part of the exhibition.
The communities we teach in are victims of extreme poverty, gang and State violence, and generational trauma. Yet, the work our students create tells a much needed under-visibilized reality. As a collection of images, this series provides a challenge to stereotypical depictions of Venezuela barrios, producing images that emphasize family, style, pride, and shared values, challenging existing stereotypes of poverty and violence, and prompts the question: how can photography be constructive instead of extractive?
From our experience, women are the backbone of these communities, doing all they can to keep their families and communities together despite the country’s crisis. The young women we work with know this all too well and their visual work reflects that. At a critical time in their lives, the stories they tell show that not all is lost. They deserve to be shown, shared, and celebrated.
Founded in 2018 by Lexi Parra, Project MiRA (Look) is an alternative educational initiative, bringing mobile photography workshops to vulnerable youth in Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas. Considering the unprecedented crisis in Venezuela, many kids do not get to experience their youth. Through free community workshops only made possible thanks to community and volunteer collaboration, Project MiRA creates a space for discussion, critical analysis and visual creation. Our intention is for kids to express themselves freely and find their voice. Throughout these workshops, youth not only learn photography, but how to visually represent themselves, their neighborhoods and larger social issues.
Over the past five years, we have taught over 600 students and collaborated with the Davis Peace Prize (2018), Aperture Foundation, featuring student work in Susan Meiselas’ book Learn to See (2020), Canon USA (2021), the Bronx Documentary Center (2022-2023), and the US Embassy (2023).
Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.
In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.
By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.
Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.
For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com
We’re honored to continue our partnership with Photoville for our 7th consecutive year, and to celebrate Photoville’s 12th edition! Each year Photoville provides so many rich, unique, and diverse experiences in and around photography–PhotoWings is thrilled to help enrich this community as Education Partners.
Our mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved. We are dedicated to utilizing the power of photography to further deep thinking, communication, and action.
The PhotoWings Outreach Program and our extensive media archive have myriad educational applications and possibilities, including projects from partners that cross disciplines, generations, and cultures. We also create toolkits/curricula for replication, adaptation and/or inspiration.
PhotoWings has partnered to document the Photoville Talks for the past five years, to expand the ways the global community can be a part of these important dialogues. Explore the collection of Photoville Talks today!
Be sure to check out all the Photoville Resources that have been supported in partnership with PhotoWings
And for more information about PhotoWings, you can visit http://photowings.org/
Through Our Eyes: A Collective Portrait of Caracas
Featuring: Various Artists
Curated by: Lexi Parra
LocationsView Location Details Travers Park
76-9 34th Ave, off 77th StNumber 81 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map
- Monday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Tuesday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Wednesday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Thursday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Friday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Saturday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Sunday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Recipient of the 2023 Photoville & PhotoWings Educator Exhibition Grant