UK freelance exports photography to Jamaica

A freelance photographer from the UK whose clients include Puma and VP Records has left his corporate projects to turn inner city Jamaican teens into published photographers.

David Gill hopes his eight-week workshop in photojournalism will offer the city’s troubled youngsters more lifestyle choices than the popular pursuits of amateur crime and music.

With support from a London-based organisation and a photography college, he hopes the scheme will offer newcomers to cameras a real opportunity to see their images published in the UK style magazine, Pink Rhino.

The online and offline title has reportedly agreed to run a special panorama edition which will showcase the work of the workshop’s young photographers, according to the Sunday Observer.

Speaking to the Jamaican daily, Mr Gill explained, “What we envisage is an eight-week workshop, sometime in July, where we take some of the kids, teach them photography, and then at the end of the period, rather than just have a static exhibition, which most of them won't relate to anyway, we're going to give them the opportunity to become published photographers.”

Gill, who is no stranger to photography with a humanitarian edge, has previously taught his profession to tsunami-affected children.

His assignments as a freelance have taken him to Morocco, where he captured the lives of African migrants, and to the world’s most dangerous place for media, Iraq, where he was embedded with the Black Watch regiment.

“Even though [these youngsters face] horrendous problems, there are also terrific opportunities,” the freelance said of his latest international project.

“The lives of these kids might seem limiting on the surface, but here it is, they may have the opportunity to document that existence, and it may turn out not to be so limiting after all, neither to them, nor to others looking at it in this light.”

Gill is said to be excited to offer young people the chance to articulate their own experiences through a somewhat non-traditional means.

He hinted that he hopes the project will not be a one-off.

"We'd love to even have some kind of exchange going, but we have to be able to get this off the ground first,” he said.

“[The aim is to] really get it right, and then, who knows? The potential is really enormous.”


21st March 2006

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