EYE SEE - UNICEF Child Photography Exhibition opens in BelgradeBELGRADE, 17 October 2013 - A rich and emotive exhibition of photographs by 19 girls and boys 11 to 18 years of age from the municipality of Pirot in southeastern Serbia was opened today in the Cultural Centre of Belgrade. The photographs, taken during a five-day UNICEF workshop called EYE SEE, which was carried out in partnership with Sony Corporation, share the views of children on life in their mountainous town. It is the first one of its kind held in Europe.
All children, authors of the photographs, and senior officials of UNICEF, Japanese Embassy and Sony © UNICEF Serbia / 2013
The children attended when the exhibition was officially launched today by Ms. Judita Reichenberg, UNICEF Area Representative, Mr. Kentaro Otani, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Branislav Jasarevic, a chilld, Mr. Giacomo Pirozzi, photographer and the workshop trainer, and Mr. Nebojsa Popovski, National Sales Manager of the Sony Europe Ltd., branch Serbia.
The photographs on display have been selected from thousands taken by the children. They are accompanied by captions written by the children themselves, adding to the impact of each image.
Ms. Judita Reichenberg, UNICEF Area Representative, said: “This impressive collection of photographs is a pure and honest portrayal of children’s realities. The images are full of life and full of hope. But they also tell stories of loss, sorrows of the aging villages surrounding the town, the lives of families with many children and the harsh conditions they are facing. Each image contains a message and invites reflection.”
The main goal of the UNICEF EYE SEE project is to promote the right of children to express, through imagery, their views freely, without discrimination of any kind.
Branislav Jasarevic, 15, officially opens the exhibition © UNICEF Serbia / 2013
Branislav Jasarevic, 15 years old, took part in the photography workshop. He said that he and other participants enjoyed the experience.
“The photography workshop was really fun and exciting. We were all happy and curious and impatient to learn more about photography. And we did learn a lot – not only how to use a camera and take photographs but also about life stories of people, of children, who live close by in adverse situations,” he said, and added with a smile: “We fell in love with photography. And now we plan to start a photo club at our community-based centre and involve other children from Pirot.”
UNICEF, in cooperation with local authorities and civil society, is modelling community centres in deprived Roma communities in seven municipalities in southeastern Serbia, including in Pirot, to be a point of support and to provide innovative services to children, adolescents and their families. All centres have identified education as a priority focus of their programmes.
The Child Photography workshop was led by Italian photographer Giacomo Pirozzi, who shared with children his knowledge and motivated them to tell stories of their community.
“During the workshop children learned about the use of light and the basics of composition. And above all, they learned to tell a story through the images they take,” Mr. Giacomo Pirozzi said.
The EYE SEE Child Photography workshop and exhibition are organised within the global partnership agreement between UNICEF and Sony Corporation.
Addressing the audience, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Kentaro Otani, expressed his “sincere hope that the UNICEF will continue to organize this project in many other countries hand in hand with Sony.”
Mr. Nebojsa Popovski, National Sales Manager of the Sony Europe Ltd., branch Serbia, said: "Sony has been proudly supporting EYE SEE as part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) philosophy ‘for the next generation’ since 2006 and we are delighted that this year we have enabled children in Serbia as well to express their thoughts and feelings. We are all aware of the fact that ‘a picture says more than a thousand words’ and this is why this exhibition represents an ideal opportunity for the children of Pirot to communicate their messages and portray the world that surrounds them.”
The exhibition will be opened to the public in Belgrade until 26 October. It will then move to Pirot and municipalities in southeastern Serbia where UNICEF supports community-based centres.