“Ting” is a Chinese word that means “to listen”, but with a different connotation than the one we usually have in our languages. To “ting listen” means to do so in a deep way, paying attention to the words, the emotions, the body language and the reason behind the words. To be able to listen like this, allows us to empathize and place ourselves on the shoes of others. From there, we can see ourselves in a whole new way.
The program Efecto Foco (Focus Effect), run by the photographer Fernando Arias and “our own” María Rolon, is a photography workshop where the idea is to develop artistic expression skills and from there create self-awareness on one’s own reality. To see ourselves or something on a picture allows us to see in a different way, and also to reflect about our present and future. Who am I? What and who do I want to be? How do I get to that place? Which is my reality? Where am I? Where do I want to get? Equipped with different types of digital cameras, the kids not only learned basic techniques to handle the cameras, to direct a photo shoot and to choose themes, but also to reflect on their reality and to deal with stereotypes, generalized outlooks and roles and models imposed by society.
“We remember one of the stories when the kids were photographed by Fernando. The goal of this undertaking had to do with strengthening self-confidence: what I choose to think about myself, how I see myself in a picture, what I choose to tell myself every single moment. Above all, it aimed at making the kids believe in themselves” said María. That day, they defeated embarrassment and shyness and reinforced the idea that to make any dream come true, you need to make the decision to do so. “I really look like a soccer player”, said Lucas. “Everything is inside you. It’s up to you to become one or not”, was the answer he received.
The program will offer an exhibition of the kid’s work to close the year. It will connect the kids’ creations with the personal and group stories and will give everyone who’s up to the challenge, the opportunity to look from a different perspective.