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‘Framing Our World’ workshop trains young photographers in Uzbekistan

UNICEF Image: Uzbekistan, photo workshop
© UNICEF/2008/Pirozzi
Workshop participants Saidazim Fazilov (right) and Bakhtigul Abdullaeva in Chorsu market in Tashkent's old city.

This story is adapted from a report by workshop participant Nastya Kakaladze.

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 8 January 2009 – Fifteen Uzbek children recently studied the elements of photography with renowned photographer Giacomo Pirozzi through a workshop called ‘Framing Our World’, sponsored by UNICEF and the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education. 

The five-day session encouraged the students to see their home city of Tashkent differently than they ever had before: through the lens of a camera. The children – several of whom were orphans – were selected by their peers to participate in the workshop because they had the skills to share their newfound knowledge with classmates when they returned to school. 

A variety of themes

Students in the workshop helped cover three different photographic themes: family, tradition and culture; orphans and disabled children; and nature and the environment. Instructional classes were followed by practical sessions in which small groups set out to explore and record these themes. Children visited schools, families, an orphanage, and a neighbourhood in the old city of Tashkent.

One of the participants, Saidazim Fazilov, 16, called the workshop “an adventure.”

UNICEF Image: Uzbekistan, photo workshop
© UNICEF/2008/Fasilov
A photo taken by workshop participant Saidazim Fazilov, 16. Of the photo's subject, Saidazim says: "He has seen a lot during his life."

“I like to photograph children and nature,” he said.  “Nature is really beautiful, and children are really spontaneous. If you see children’s faces, you can understand what they’re feeling in this moment.”

Life in Tashkent

Like several of the workshop participants, Saidazim hopes that he can continue taking photographs. “I think I can’t stop now because it’s really very interesting for me, and this workshop gave me power to take photos in the future,” he said.

His goal is to share with the world what life is like in his native Tashkent.

“I want to show in photos the life in Uzbekistan – how people live here, traditions," said Saidazim. “I think that people from other countries could see the life in Uzbekistan through other eyes.”

‘Beyond my dreams’

The children were given a brand new digital camera as part of the workshop.

“It was something even beyond my dreams,” said Nastya Kakaladze, who took photos of orphaned children. “Our goal was not only to take photos but also take a different look at the world and child’s rights using a camera as a tool.

“It really was great,” she added. “We actually show our lives and our rights through the lens of a camera in a totally different way. Visualizing the world through a child’s eyes, we start thinking that the world should not be the way adults make it.”




Photographer Saidazim Fazilov, 16, talks about documenting the landscapes and traditions of Uzbekistan.
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