Continuing with last month’s theme of photography and mental wellbeing, I would like to share with you an amazing project which I stumbled across a little while ago.
‘Show and Tell’, organised by The Photography Movement, is a project which encourages young people between the ages of 10 and 18 to explore their own mental health through photography. The aim of the project is to provide a better understanding of how it feels to be young today.
Now in its second year, ‘Show and Tell’ has attracted the attention of hundreds of schools who have signed up to the project. In addition, some of the nation’s top professional photographers such as Rankin and Jane Stockdale are on board to judge and offer ongoing support.
The young people taking part in the project explore the connection between photography and mental health by watching of a series of workshop films which are accompanied by a variety of practical tasks. This stage of the project is then followed by live feedback sessions after which everyone has the opportunity to enter the MyPhotoMyFeeling exhibition.
The focus of the exhibition is to portray the many ways in which young people’s emotions can be expressed through photography. Participants are therefore asked to choose the word which best describes how they are feeling and illustrate this emotion as a photograph. Some of the images entered are chosen for a digital exhibition whilst images selected by the judges feature as a national billboard campaign. This year’s judges include the Syrian refugee photographer Hassan Akkad, activist Soma Sara and presenter Anna Richardson.
Steve Wallington, Co-founder of The Photography Movement, asked some of the young people to comment on the project and this is what they had to say.
Did answering the brief, “How are you Feeling” give you photography skills to benefit your well-being?
My image was about developing an eating disorder during Covid and the way the loss of routine and control of my life sent me on this downward spiral. It felt good to commemorate the two year anniversary of the start of my eating disorder through photography. I got a beautiful image that I have now been able to share with the world. It also allowed me to learn something new which meant that my wellbeing was positivity impacted. I chose to pick up my camera and turn it into something positive. Sky Forrest Hay
If photography was a super power what is it?
For the photographer, the super power is the invisibility. The power to become a fly on the wall, a social documentarian to open a window for the spectator. And for the spectator it would be teleportation. The power to put you anywhere at any time with the snap of the finger. Tom Millington
If photography was a super power it would be a time freezer, for example my photograph ‘desensitised’ of the boy on the bus froze the moment in time and I will never know who I photographed in this photo but the image will live forever. Ilana Steventon
Would you like to continue with photography in the future?
Yes, I would love to continue photography in the future continuing to experiment with expressive, thought-provoking photography. Ben Ruff