In August this year I will be leading a photo project in a youth centre in Bosnia as part of a larger social project called, Bridges Across Borders

WE NEED CAMERAS - 35mm and digital cameras -doesn't matter what kind-SLR-point and shoot-whatever important is, is that it works!

if it's just lying around unused,then this is the chance to help us take it of your hands and put it in the hands of someone who really will appreciate it!

Background:
The Omladinski centre is a youth centre in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, one of the first towns to suffer in the Croat-Bosniak war (1992-1994) during the Bosnian war(1992-1995). The youth centre started up at the end of the war and it focuses its work on conflict resolution and peace building with children and teenagers through a variety of projects. These have included theatre, sports, art, group holidays, IT training and environmental projects. Each programme runs with multi ethnic participation as a central theme.

Aim:
The aim of the Bridges Across Borders project, is to help the centre provide a platform for these people to come together, not to discuss resolution, or everlasting peace ... but to simply enable their children and families to integrate and have fun in a safe environment ... to provide joint experiences and to go some way to bridging the divide that still defines a country with a history of ethnic division.

Pedagogical practice:
The pedagogical core of the Bridges Across Borders project is simple, to give multi ethnic children a space and the means to have fun through arts, sports and games through workshops and projects such as short film making (sponsored by Westminster college, London), photography and softball. With each workshop/project, the first group of children to attend will be shown the basics and the team will be there to answer all their questions as an when they crop up. The next group of children will receive the same basic introduction, but this time from the first group with the team being there in a supporting role. For small scale workshops such as origami or making pop-up cards, the first group will be the kids who come in the morning, the subsequent groups will be the kids who arrive through the course of the day. For the longer term projects such as photography or film making, the first group will be those kids who come to the first workshop, the subsequent groups will be integrated over the course of the program- the children will acquire more and more experience and therefore have more and more to offer each subsequent addition to the group

The Photo project:
The Bridges across borders photo project will take all the necessary equipment and materials to provide everything needed to build and maintain a photographic community based in and around the Omladinski centre. The photo project will provide analogue Cameras, a black and white darkroom and a stock of film, paper and chemicals to be continued to be used after the Bridges across borders team leaves. Also key in the project is the use of a scanner and a computer so that the kids will be able to digitise their results and post the images on an online blog,, thus providing them with a platform to present their work to a wider audience and the possibility for them to claim a space as their own..
The photographic process provides the means to learn a 'hands on' skill that combines technical process with creativity. Photography, with its roots in the arts, journalism and snapshots, provides a broad spectrum with which to present, and reflect upon, ones personal view of the world.

During the project, in addition to the photo blog, the photographs will be put up on the walls of the Omladinski centre, and around the town. Once the team has left for 2011, the photographs will be exhibited in galleries and exhibition spaces around Berlin and London, promoting awareness of the project and continuing to raise funds to support the projects return in 2012.

My background:
I graduated in 2010 with distinction from Lette Verein , Berlin, one of Germanys best renowned Technical photography schools. For the last 6 years I have worked as a camp counsellor for Berlitz Kids' summer camps. My artistic work deals with the aesthetic of memory and the role of photography in cultural memory as well as the use of association to create narrative. What I am therefore able to offer the project is a wealth of experience working with children and young adults, an in depth understanding of the technical aspects of photography and an affinity for the use of photography and its implications for how we perceive the world in which we live.

After the team leaves:
Once the Bridges Across Borders team leaves, all materials will be donated to the Omladinski centre so that the kids can continue to use the skills they have learnt.

contact:Stephen Mooney
Elsenstra├če 74, 12059 BERLIN

info@stephenmooneyphotography.com