ED KASHI
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January 13, 2015

National Geographic Photo Camp South Sudan, 2014

“A woman vendor at the Juba Customs Market.” Photograph by Stella Poni Gaudensio

“Can a camera be a tool for peace-building? And can change begin with something as small as a group of students coming together to take pictures not of what separates them but of what bonds them as human beings–simple things like the dawn, kids on a playground, or a sports tournament? This past September, these questions were put into practice in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, which has been embroiled in bitter ethnic conflict since December 2013. National Geographic Photo Camp, in partnership with Internews, put cameras in the hands of 20 communications students at the University of Juba. ”

National Geographic Photo Camp South Sudan, 2014

“Girls at the Confident Children Out of Conflict orphanage in Juba, South Sudan, put on a fashion show.” Photograph by Dotjang Agany Awer

Published yesterday on Nat Geo PROOF blog, “Peace-Building with Cameras in South Sudan” an article by Alexa Keefe brings to life the experience of National Geographic Photo Camp: South Sudan. In September 2014 a group of students spent a week with Ed Kashi (VII), Amy Toensing, Matt Moyer, and Ross Golderberg, learning to become visual storytellers. In this article, Ed Kashi is speaks on some of the challenges of the trip, including security and restrictions on taking photographs. Kashi states, “It is very hard to photograph in South Sudan … between the paranoia of the people and the absolute rejection of photography by the security forces and the [government] officials.”

National Geographic Photo Camp South Sudan, 2014

“A scene from the Juba Customs Market in South Sudan.” Photograph by Stella Poni Gaudensio

The Photo Camp South Sudan participants also remain optimistic about their future and the future of their country. One of the students is quoted, “I can now be able to use my camera as the voice of the voiceless. Although becoming a photojournalist is a long journey of discovery, (this week) is a good start.”

Girls at the Confident Children Out of Conflict orphanage in Juba, South Sudan, play on the trampoline. Photograph by Simon Odhol

“Girls at the Confident Children Out of Conflict orphanage in Juba, South Sudan, play on the trampoline.” Photograph by Simon Odhol

These photos are part of a retrospective exhibition containing work by Photo Camp participants from the past decade, on display through May 31 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. See more student images and read the full story on PROOF.

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