Using photography as a tool for promoting human rights

Participation and Self-expression

In Nova Holanda, one of the 17 communities that together comprise the favela of Complexo da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, four GPIA students and PUC-Rio students collaborated with a local NGO, Luta Pela Paz, and created an eight-week photography project with 12 participants between the ages of 12 to 16.  Participants learned basic photography skills and then focused on how young people can use a camera as a powerful tool for self-representation and social change. Participants explored their own community and surroundings through the lens of a camera and gained skills to portray a different image of their community and their lives in the favela, than the negative image often portrayed by mainstrean media.Two web sites were built to demonstrate both the process of the two month course as well as showcase the amazing photographs taken by the participating children and youth during the course. These web sites include more information on the project, profiles of participants, an introductory video to the project and description of the community, as well as a portfolio of photos for each participant.

MikaellePhoto by Mikaellen Ribeiro Vaz, a Student in the Course
Visit the web sites to learn more about the Foto Pela Paz Project and to enjoy the photography done by the children and youth who participated in the course.

Maré Blog: Process of the Course
Photography Site  
Take a look at our article about another Rio de Janeiro IFP Project – Sound and Multimedia Project in Vila Aliança.

BoyscamThe Rio de Janeiro Program is one of several International Field Programs (IFP) offered through the New School’s Graduate Program in International Affairs. During summer 2010, 15 students from GPIA worked on eight projects, of which four focused on children and youth. Each project inspired and empowered the participating children, youth and adults to use media and citizen journalism as tools for social change.GPIA students worked in collaboration with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and with the valuable support from local undergraduate students attending PUC-Rio (Pontifícia Universidade Católica).

The Brazil IFP is coordinated by Professor Peter Lucas of GPIA and provides New School students in New York with the opportunity to plan and implement projects related to human rights in communities that most people visiting Rio de Janeiro never see. This summer, students worked in the communities of Rocinha, Cantagalo, Complexo da Maré, Cidade de Deus, Vila Mimosa and Bangu.

To find out more about the GPIA International Field Programs, please visit the program web site at



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