Photo workshop at UNCP expands students' vision
By Scott Bigelow
in a picture?
That was the question for 25 middle school students attending a photography
workshop this summer sponsored by Communities in Schools (CIS) of Robeson
County and UNC Pembroke's Family Life Center.
Their photographs and ideas are on display through December 3 in the
second floor lobby of UNCP's James B. Chavis University Center.
Caroline Dunnum, an AmeriCorps VISTA worker and 2002 UNCP graduate,
wrote a grant and directed the program, called "Community Through
"There is a need for arts education for children in Robeson County,"
Dunnum said. "The larger goal of the project is to get young people
to see the world in a different way, to validate their experience."
Some powerful experiences were explored by the student photojournalists.
"During the workshop, the grandmother of one of our students passed
away," Dunnum said. "She felt good about how she honored her
grandmother and her family through her photography and narrative text."
The students were trained in documentary arts and sent out in their
communities with an eye toward thinking critically about where they
live, what they would change and what they would preserve. Their vision
of community - in photography and words - is on display.
The six-day photography workshop was funded by a $1,200 grant from
the North Carolina Humanities Council and held on UNCP's campus. Duke
University's Center for Documentary Studies and UNCP's Native American
Resource Center also contributed their resources.
Duke instructors worked three days with the students on interpreting
the meaning of images that included a self-portrait project.
Dr. Stan Knick, director of UNCP's Native American Resource Center,
gave a tour of the museum and a clinic on exhibiting photography as
well as ideas about the cultural and historical context of art.
Storyteller Louise Omoto Kessel and UNCP School of Education writing
specialists Dr. Jane Huffman and Dr. Janet Fortune did workshops.
Native American historian and UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral candidate Malinda
Maynor also delivered a session on local history. Maynor is director
of the Lumbee River Fund, which preserves photos and history of the
local Native American community. The fund contributed framing and other
materials for the exhibit.
"We had people from all over the state working with the children
on a variety of media," Dunnum said. "It was a very unique
experience for a diverse group of students, and we all learned a lot."
Pembroke, North Carolina
These are trees that I climbed when I was very little. When I was seven,
I made a tree house. I would read books, look out the window, take pictures
of birds, and watch TV. I would go to my tree house at 7:00 in the evening.
Red Springs, North Carolina
"The Old Burn"
The Old Burn was built in 1905. It looks like this now because a storm
called Fran caused it to be down like that. It belonged to my great-great
grandfather and grandmother. I like to look at it because I try to remember
all the good things they did when my mother tells me about it.
Red Springs, North Carolina
In my picture is my great grandmother's house and me. This house holds
so much. This house was built a long time ago. My great grandmother's
name is Inez Galbreath. She was born on August 23, 1915, and she died
on June 21, 2004.
Some things I can remember is the brown chair on the left. My grandmother
has had that chair for a long time. I can remember when I fell off the
porch in the chair. Also when the sun would shine on that chair, if
you sat down, it would burn your butt. Also my grandmother and her friends
used to come outside every day and she would sit in that chair. She
used to hold me in that chair when I was little.
Something else I remember is when my grandmother used to keep all her
nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. Almost everyday she used to chase
us out of the house with a broom. She used to have a back porch but
not anymore. Because all eight of us used to try our best to get out
the backdoor before she would get to us. I remember it like it was yesterday
Also I can remember when my sisters had band practice. I would have
to stay there every single day. At first I didn't like it but then it
got okay. My grandmother and I used to have long conversations. She
used to always tell me that when my birthday comes she was going to
make me a cake and throw me a party. If you didn't bring gifts, you
I remember all this stuff. I miss grandmother so much. But I know she
is always with me and I love her, forever and ever, nonstop.
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