Pupils tell their stories through photography

Grade 11 pupils at Groenvlei High School Samila Peni, Shannon-Lee Sass, Zuraan Abrahams, Nikita Dias all took part in the photography project.

Young shutterbugs from Groenvlei High School snapped up some exposure of their own when they exhibited their work at a Long Street camera shop.

The Grade 11 pupils, looking smart in their maroon school jackets, milled about Cameraland with their families on the evening of Thursday October 6.

They were eager to show off their photographs shot around the city centre and Bo-Kaap.

The pictures were hung on three floors and along staircases for the First Thursdays event – a chance for Capetonians to explore galleries and cultural attractions until late on the first Thursday of each month.

The exhibition runs until Sunday October 30 and is part of the Take Beyond Leadership Project, run by Groenvlei High School with Fujifilm and Cameraland, to spark positive change in marginalised communities.

Teacher Godfrey Hendrikse, who ran the project, said it was exciting to see the end result as well as all the support the pupils had had, especially from their parents.

About six months ago, the school approached Cameraland and Fujifilm to help it give the pupils a chance to explore their creativity and develop their technical skills.

But the project’s main aim was to build a sense of value in pupils in poorer neighbourhoods who are at greater risk from various social ills.

Fujifilm and Cameraland sponsored cameras, prints, a short course and exhibition space.

Brian Lustig of Cameraland said “it just made sense” to partner with the school, as they had an exhibition space. He said he was proud of the pupils who took part.

Grade 11 pupil Grace Eteta, was one of them, and she called it a “magical” experience.

“Photography is telling your story, and accepting it,” she said.

Hein Hough of Fujifilm, who took the pupils on a short photography course before the exhibition, said: “Tonight, you all are no longer students, tonight you are photographers. I am very proud of you guys.”

The exhibition’s proceeds of just under R7 000 for the evening, will support future school leadership projects.