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Exploring 'connection' through photography

Posted by Andrea Lewis

Sonal Kantaria is one of two resident Geraldton artists working with young people in the city as part of the FIVE project. Sonal is a visual artist who holds an MA in photojournalism from the University of Westminster. Her practice explores social issues and topics through storytelling, and she has a strong commitment to community arts work, often using Photovoice as a means of capturing stories and creating narratives. With FIVE, Sonal is working with Aboriginal teenagers around the theme of 'place' in Geraldton.

FIVE artist Sonal Kantaria is using a photojournalism approach with Aboriginal teenagers as they explore their sense of 'place'FIVE artist Sonal Kantaria is using a photojournalism approach with Aboriginal teenagers as they explore their sense of 'place'

She writes:

"After being accepted on the DADAA Geraldton FIVE Project as a community artist, the project began with a meeting with all of the artists involved and a brainstorming of ideas – of which there were many. As a complete blank canvas the prospect of being as creative as possible through the undertaking of the projects and also the display of works was an exciting one.

I would be working with the Gerladton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation, an organisation that brings about cultural awareness to young people. Having formally met with the organisation and the team, there was a familiarity of the space as well as its aims. We decided upon running two sessions based around photography and moving footage, with a selection of young people interested in the workshops. The first of the workshops would be an exploration of person to their immediate landscape whereby the young people would identify a place in Geraldton which is special to them or one that has significance. They would also be encouraged to talk about the place. The resulting output is that of connection. How does a person relate to and connect with their environment and surrounding landscape? This aligned with the connection of land with the Aboriginal cultures is one that should resonate with the young people.

I look forward to working on FIVE and to seeing our final works on the streets of Geraldton at the end of this short workshop series."

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