Our first stop was Kenyatta University, the second biggest university in Kenya. What a campus..oh mah god! Massive campus, big gardens and relax areas, a cinema (!), playgrounds and what not. Spencer, Boyana, Anneeka and I were responsible for the photography workshop. Even though we briefly run through it on the previous day, we were quite nervous what to expect.
After being fashionably late, representatives from Kenyatta University welcomed us with a little opening ceremony. We got introduced to the students who we were going to work with, we met a few lectures and the head of the department of Film and Theatre. After the speeches finished, we were split into groups and started our workshop. As the most important part of what we do is to share knowledge and experience, we did not want to make them feel like we are there to teach them. We wanted to make everyone feel comfortable and confident and to share what they know and what they are good at with the others. We sat in a circle and everyone introduced themselves explaining why they’d chosen the photography workshop. Then we continued with introducing the basic functions of the camera and tripod. When we got to know their level of knowledge it was easier for us to lead the workshop. We were worried that we would either bore them to death or we would bombard them with tons of information. It was a nice sunny day ( get over yourself, England! ) so we spent some time outside talking about ISO, aperture, shutter speed while experimenting with the cameras. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves, we were really lucky to work with these particular students, all of them were really passionate about photography and eager to learn. After the lunch break, we talked about the upcoming trip to Ngong on the next day and our topic for the shoot. We had a few very good ideas but we decided to do Faces of the Community and focus on portraiture. We set a task for everyone to go outside and take portraits so they can start thinking about setting, background, lighting, positioning the subject, etc. At the end of the day we ended up with some amazing photographs and everyone was pleased themselves. One of the students came to me and told me that she was a bit worried at first but we did a great job and she had an amazing time. It made me so happy : )
The second day we went to the Kenyatta University in the morning. We decided to walk around the campus and take some more portraits so everyone can feel confident for the trip to Ngong. Since we had the best group and the best workshop, we spent the morning watching a group of boys dancing to a contemporary Kenyan gospel ( amazing song, still trying to find it ) at the playground. We took some great photos that ended up in our final presentation.
In the afternoon we travelled to Ngong. Our first stop was at the police station where the governed welcomed us, then we head to the Community Media centre where we met Professor Walla. Our final stop was the Ngong Township School. The groups were split into two. Some of us went to speak to the teachers, my group was sent to the Faraja Orphanage. I was not prepared for that and got extremely upset at first. However, seeing the happy smiles on these kids’ faces made me realise that money means nothing and one needs only so little to be happy. We ended the day at the Ngong hills watching the sunset. An absolutely incredible view. One of those that you never forget. I think that has been one of the best days so far.
The last day of the workshop was a bit hectic and stressful. We all had to finish our projects and present them in front of everyone at the end of the day. Honestly, we as photographers were lucky because we did not have to focus so much on the editing process. We had a short Photoshop session, then we picked up 40 images out of 2786 ( don’t ask us how ), arranged them and decided to present them while playing a traditional Kenyan song. All groups presented their work, everyone did a great job for the short period of time we had. We all were a bit sad to leave but thankful for the great experience and the new friends we made.