30 young people from Moldova learn the art of photography from National Geographic ‘‘mentors”
30 young people aged between 11 and 18, from communities across the country, are learning from National Geographic professionals about the art of storytelling through photography. The online workshop “Change at HOME through photography” is conducted during 11-13 September 2020, with support from the USA, UNDP and Switzerland.
“I have been living in the USA for more than 10 years. I work here in photography. I am happy to be part of this program dedicated to young people from our country alongside renowned photographers from the USA,” said Andriana Mereuta.
“I am extremely happy about being able to talk to young people from Moldova. From the very first day, I felt the strong energy and the strong desire of these young people to learn and see the world from different perspectives. I am sure that it is them who are the agents of positive change at their home,” said Erika Larsen, National Geographic photographer.
The one-year program “Change at HOME through photography” (2020–2021) will guide young people to make their personal photographic project come true.
In the summer of 2021, a photography camp is scheduled to take place in Sipoteni — the Youth Capital. The program will culminate with a national photography exhibition.
“We will teach the young people how to portray both the challenges and the achievements of their communities, thus contributing to social cohesion between the local population and the diaspora, that would drive for positive change across the entire country. The young participants in the program will be encouraged and trained to guide their peers in the art of photography so that every local public authority and hometown association has photographers able to promote their community,” said Zinaida Adam, UNDP-Switzerland “Migration and local development” Project Manager.
Arina Caraus from the town of Cimislia, 18 years old and participant in the program, is grateful for this inter-cultural exchange and for the opportunity to share experience with young people from different parts of the country:
“I can express my feelings, problems through photography, I can do something to make people happier. Photography is my passion. It is a way of transmitting visually a message that is of timely importance. Nowadays people read less, are very busy and are always on the run. I would like to take valuable pictures, that would promote human values, that would urge people to stop discriminating, that would do justice to our country.”
Here is a summary of the three-day online workshop:
The “Change at HOME through photography” program was initiated by Andriana Mereuta, a Moldovan living in the USA, who assisted the project “Women of impact” for National Geographic for and who wanted to advance the art of photography in Moldova. This program is funded by the U.S. Embassy to the Republic of Moldova.
The young participants were selected from among the “Migration and local development” UNDP-Switzerland Project, with which Andriana has been cooperating for a long time, and under which she had also previously received a scholarship to return to her birthplace to share good practices, new ideas and experience to peers in Moldova.
Tatiana Solonari, UNDP Moldova