WASHINGTON (July 1, 2015)—A group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ukraine will learn to tell their stories through photography and writing during National Geographic Photo Camp Ukraine, July 5-10. The camp, to be held in Kharkiv, Ukraine, is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative project and will highlight issues faced by young people in the region. The 20 participants, ages 17-30, will be mentored by National Geographic magazine contributing photographers Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Matt Moyer and National Geographic magazine’s deputy director of photography, Whitney Johnson.
The six-day workshop, conducted in partnership with USAID and the Institute for Regional Media and Information, will train the students to document the reality of their lives as people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine. For more than a year, youth in eastern Ukraine have faced life-altering challenges: being caught up in conflict, losing friends and families, fleeing their homes and starting new lives in new cities. Much of the country’s response to the conflict has focused on addressing the urgent humanitarian needs, leaving youth with little outlet to express their experiences. There are currently an estimated 1.2 million IDPs registered as a result of the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with nearly 980,000 IDPs in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk. The lives of thousands of children and young adults have been disrupted as they face the challenge of reconciling their new reality within the greater context of Ukraine’s democratic transition.
“We hope Photo Camp Ukraine will provide the participants with a creative outlet to share their unique perspectives,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s chief science and exploration officer. “National Geographic believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. We have found that Photo Camp inspires a new generation of storytellers as well as the members of the community who view their work.”Olympus Imaging America Inc. has supplied cameras for the Photo Camp. National Geographic Photo Camp has provided programs for more than 1,500 young people in 69 locations since 2003. For more information on recent Photo Camps in South Sudan and Jordan, visit:
National Geographic previously conducted a Photo Camp in Crimea in 2010 with USAID support. The students designed a portrait of the Black Sea and the Crimean coast, with special attention to the region’s natural environment, economic resources and the participants’ own connection with water.
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