Our Kids in the Spotlight

Outside The Lens presented ‘Where The Light Travels: Portraits of San Diego Refugee Students’ – a collection of collaborative portraiture and audio interviews this weekend.

It was an extraordinary night as forty students and tutors showed up at the Outside the Lens Photo Exhibition featuring our very own kids. Our kids were all engaged as they learned about photo exhibits, listened to audio clips, made their own sketches, had yummy snacks and engaged in conversations with folks from all around San Diego. They felt proud to have pictures of themselves on display.

SDRT began our partnership with Outside the Lens three years ago. Jana McBeath, teacher and photographer, took each of these amazing photos of many of our students during tutoring that were on display at You Belong Here. Jana and Outside the Lens also lead a photography and videography class weekly for our 4th and 5th grade SDRT students. When we asked one fourth grade student what he preferred to photograph, he easily answered, “Textures.”

A little bit more about the project in Jana McBeath’s words:

The medium of large format was more commonly used during a time when photography was less accessible and less democratic. An aim of this project was to subvert that context and use this format to photograph an often overlooked and marginalized community. The time and care needed for each shot on a large format camera, with its intricate and antiquated handling, is a way to honor these incredible young people and help to bring attention to themselves and their stories.

Our silly version!

About Melissa Phillips

Melissa Phillips is one of the founders of San Diego Refugee Tutoring and currently serves as its Program Director. She has four incredible children, many years of teaching experience, and a supportive husband who also works in education.

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