As a mother of three teenagers, Carolyn Mendelsohn is acutely aware of how young people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and she feels that their voices are not being heard.
So when Carolyn’s local authority announced that some of its arts and culture budget would be awarded to artists responding to the Covid-19 pandemic she devised a project to help young people share their view of lockdown through photography.
As a photographer, Carolyn understands the power of photography both for the photographer and the viewer. She proposed to Bradford City Council that she would teach weekly photography lessons by video conferencing with 24 people aged between 13 and 18. Her aim was to help them document their experiences and to create an online exhibition of their images.
Fortunately, Bradford City Council, recognised the potential of Carolyn’s project and awarded her some funding. Carolyn put the call out for participants and the applications rolled in.
Some of the young people involved in the project had no prior experience of photography while others had a little. Carolyn has taken them through aspects such as composition, exposure and the use of photography as self-expression, but she hasn’t directed them in terms of their subject or how they should shoot. In some cases, the participants have access to a camera but many use their phone.
Looking through the images, it’s easy to see why the project has now become a 24-7 labour of love for Carolyn.
In this video recorded via Zoom video conferencing, Carolyn explains the project and shares some of the images from the 24 participants.