Daniel Malka Photo Project Interview on RPP Peru

We have to all do our part to help children. A basic education through photography, narration, culture, art, preserving values and the environment. It can all be done through creative thinking.. I can’t find the words to thank enough the people helping the project, from Canada to Peru, Mexico, Lima and Cusco. I thank Chema Salcedo, RPP radio and TV Peru, and all the produccion team for helping out in diffusing and helping us help the children. I am truly overwhelmed by the kindness and commitment of the Peruvian people. I am more than greatfull to all my friends in Lima and Cusco for all their help and for making me feel so much at home. The children will thank you forever. We still need digital cameras¡

Daniel Malka Provincia de Cuzco, el 6 de Octubre 2012




The Daniel Malka Project aims to create an international visual forum upon which children ages 7-15 will publish photographs they have taken of their own lives. So far there are 10 countries who have shown interest (Japan, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Columbia, Uganda, Kenya, Spain, and Romania), an exceptional group of volunteers, and an enormous lack of digital cameras for the young shutterbugs to use. Anyone willing to part with an old (or new) digital camera should either read this article, or scroll down to the bottom to find out where you can drop it off. A buck or two would also go a long way since this worthwhile project depends on private funding. The origins and political philosophy of Montreal photographer Daniel Malka Daniel grew up in Montreal in the Côte-des-Neiges, NDG area, attended Baron Byng High School in the mile-end area, and CEGEP in St-Laurent. He studied at Concordia University, and went to grad school in Sherbrooke, and is currently a professor of photography at Dawson College. What he remembers most about his childhood in Montreal is Expo 67, never locking car doors, playing hockey and soccer, and having friends from all walks of life. He also clearly recalls The War Measures act in 71. What shocks him about today’s Montreal is the number of homeless and untreated mentally-ill in the streets. He sees the excesses of indirect taxes and budget spent on the police force as democratic dictatorship. Citing personal experience, he considers having to pay 700$ for a 54$ unpaid ticket to be a greedy abuse of power. He considers the services offered in exchange for our tax dollars to be scarcer than when he was growing up. “We never waited 6 hours in a hospital or had no access to a family doctor. There is far more social injustice in today’s Montreal, and less freedom. An oppressed society only means there will be more criminality. ” Daniel still sees Montreal as a peaceful city to live in, but thinks the recent social changes are definitely not for the best, and that people’s priorities are out of synch with reality. “I don’t believe in building a pretty, white picket-fence in front of a house just to keep up appearances while everybody in the house is starving. I mean that for households, for sure, but I’m directing that more at governmental policies.” Daniel is a second generation photographer. His uncle is a photographer, as well as his world famous cousin Michel Malka. During childhood, he often had a camera in his hand, and learned how images had the power to tell stories and to spark his imagination. At the age of 15, upon discovering Tri-X film, and the magic and mystery of darkroom work, Daniel developed a more serious appreciation for photography. “The power of capturing a moment and seeing it appear on a sheet of paper a few hours later… my darkroom was the floor of my small bedroom. It was the time of Jean Loup Sieff, Hiro, Avedon, Penn, Sarah Moon and so many other great photographers. It was the time of musical giants like Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Dylan, and Cohen.” Daniel’s influences and inspiration came from his parents, who taught him about human values, determination, charity, love and social justice. Literature and music reinforced his parent’s guidance. He especially notes the works of Albert Camus, like, The Fall, L’Etranger, The Plague, which, from a young age opened his eyes to the fact that not everything under the sun shines, and that the plague can hit us at any time. “Beaudelaire, Flaubert and Rinbaud taught me how to be the romantic that I am. Losing my parents at a young age taught me that life is too short not to do what I love. As Camus says, to die is absurd in itself, so, to live without a purpose is even more so.” That’s why he does what he loves, and loves what he does. He expresses both the good and the bad conditions he perceives. “I show the good, to unveil the beauty of human kind. But there needs to be balance in photography, just as in life, so I also show the bad to expose injustice and to create a change for the better.” Why nomad-at-heart Daniel Malka stays in Montreal Although he grew up in Montreal, and enjoys the part of NDG where he lives because it is “so real,” Daniel is a nomad at heart. He has lived elsewhere for almost 17 years. He spent 10 years in Madrid, and 7 years in Toronto. He returned to Montreal to be with his daughter, and to attend art school, and he decided to stay because of friends, family, and mainly because of his divorce. “I had to take care of my daughter who has lived with me for the last 7 years. There are many things I like about Montreal, as well as many I don’t. Being away for so many years makes me aware of the enormous changes this town has undergone. It’s became a more modern and active city than it was during my youth. However, from the perspective of social conditions, things have gotten much worse.” Daniel reiterates his feelings about priorities, both at the governmental and household level, where everyone is going into debt to present the appearance of financial success at the cost of long-term security, health, and freedom. He believes that excessive debt leads to levels of intolerable stress that puts the well-being of everyone, especially our future generations, at dire risk. “That might be a problem with North America in general – the race to compete at any cost. Sure it all looks great from the outside, but I don’t believe this is working anymore. I’ve traveled enough to learn what corruption is. Here it is tacit – silent and underlying, because no one talks about it, or if they do, they kind of smile nervously like that’s just the way it’s supposed to be, as if just because people seem to be in the same boat, everything is normal. Sometimes people complain, but no one seems to make any important moves.” Daniel explains that in Latin America, people know about corruption because it’s obvious and it’s part of their daily lives. However people do go to jail for it, unlike here where it is entrenched at almost every political level, and people seem to be more accepting of it as cost for our way of life. “Heh. After all, freedom always carries a price…but it’s well worth it. Unfortunately destiny and life sometimes tells you differently.” Daniel Malka: professional photographer For Daniel, photography is a way of life. He instructs his students to dream, sleep, and breathe photography. He considers it the most powerful storytelling device ever created. “No wonder there is a belief that certain cultures think that a photograph steals a piece of your soul. In a way it’s true. You can immortalize an instant of someone’s life, and that, to me, seems to be the same thing. And with today’s technology, you can get that story out there in seconds.” Being a freelancer all his life hasn’t been easy. However, photography has allowed him to live, and has elevated him in his darkest moments. It has been his most faithful companion (besides his dog Mona). Daniel has gotten paid substantially to play with what he refers as his “toys,” though he has never technically considered his art to be “work.” “My first paying photos were for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. I was studying Science at the time, working part-time selling cameras…man, every penny I made went back into photography. I fell in love with the power of telling a story in a fraction of a second, immortalizing time.” He has taken award-winning photos on two continents, and has had them published on three. His most lucrative ventures have been during contracts for ad agencies, but what he loves most is being spending time with the people. “I’ve met so many outstanding people through photography. It gives you the ability to connect with your surroundings in a very unique way. And because, as I always say, an image never lies, you know right away who is the good guy and who is the scum bag when you look through the view finder.” Although I interrupt here to mention various visual deceptions perpetrated by the media, Daniel promptly corrects me. He is not referring to image manipulation. He is talking about photography in its purest form. “It’s a tool that tells the truth, and should be used to share the beauty in this world whenever and wherever you find it. No, I am no surgeon. I use the tool bluntly and honestly to expose the good and the bad. I am even more passionate today than when I was a teenager. Some people hate me for it, but quite frankly I don’t care, because the ones that do are usually mediocre, maybe not always technically, but in relation to revealing raw emotion. I don’t believe in life without passion. It’s like making love by appointment.” Daniel loves everything that has to do with photography. Teaching it has been an enlightening element in his life; sharing all of his knowledge and inspiring others is the most gratifying experience as he gets to witness people growing into photographers with his guidance. “Photography is no different than life. There are decisive moments where you have to choose where you want to go, just like the instant when you decide to press that shutter button. I try to find the passion in my students as well as help develop their creative instincts. Photography is about people, passion, love, simplicity, humanism, and freedom of expression. Most of all, it’s about freedom itself. The professional aspect is a bonus.” The Daniel Malka Photo Project “The Daniel Malka Photo Project is the sum of all my experiences, emotions, and greatest beliefs about humanity’s capacity for love, compassion and sharing. Before becoming a photographer, I wanted to be a pediatrician. Children are natural fighters. They have a pure, untamed vision of their surroundings. They love and trust unconditionally…that is until they are hurt, of course. Kids are the most vulnerable in any society, and should be protected from anyone who uses them to satisfy greed or obtain power. “The project is challenging in the sense that it is addressed to children from ages 7 to 15. We’d like to begin them at 5, but we’ll have to see about the logistics of that. The kids involved will be diverse. From the hidden and forgotten indigenous people of Latin America to the child soldiers in Africa, we want to give them all the tools to document their experiences from the inside out as opposed than the outside in. I believe that helping develop creativity in these kids would give rise to positive critical thinking skills. Also, they will have a tool to be more sensitive, united, and be seen by the rest of the world. Greater exposure would minimize their roles as targets of injustice, war, and delinquency. “The project will stay alive thanks to photographers who will get on-site training to continue the project. Our team of photographic journalists wants to help change these children’s lives by providing their voices a visual forum. We’re all volunteers who have agreed that every penny raised must be spent directly on the kids. “The idea is to teach photography, and to design specific assignments based on their needs and problems. They will document and photograph their lives and gain exposure in galleries around the world, and online. This should generate more awareness about the often overlooked conditions of these children, and generate more support for all NGOs. Of course there is a lot to do in Canada as well, and our team will start work here soon.




Publié le 20 mars 2012 par Fannie Un projet photo pour aider les enfants Une très belle initiative, le projet photo de Daniel Malka (The Daniel Malka Photo Project) a pour mission d’utiliser des méthodes innovatrices pour enseigner la photographie créative aux enfants âgés de 7 à 15 ans, vivant dans la marginalité. Ces enfants recevront des appareils photo numériques et la théorie nécessaire pour apprendre les bases de la photographie. Ce projet cherche aussi à encourager d’autres projets réalisés partout à travers le monde, en collaborant avec des ONG, des organismes de charité et d’autres organismes communautaires locaux. Cette collaboration permettra la création d’une communauté mondiale de jeunes photographes qui pourront partager leur vision du monde. Continuer la lecture → PHOTOLIFE MAGAZINE


The Daniel Malka Photo Project: Inspiring Our Children to Make This World More Human Posted on March 26, 2012 by Jenny

Based out of Montreal, The Daniel Malka Photo Project‘s mission is to use photography to work with marginalized and at-risk children around the world. After 20 years of experience in advertising, editorial and fine-art photography, founder Daniel Malka decided to use his energy and expertise to work with children in need during their critical stages of development. Focusing on children between the ages of 7 and 15, the project works with local NGOs and organizations already in place in various countries to provide digital cameras and training to these young photographers. Besides encouraging artistic expression, the training will enable children to use photography as a way to document their lives from their unique perspectives and to communicate ideas locally and internationally. The images will be exhibited around the world, and the funds will be redirected back to the young photographer, his or her family, or the affiliated group. If you have digital cameras you would like to donate to The Daniel Malka Photo Project, please check out their support page.

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT IN FOCUS INTERVIEW Posted on Monday June 4th, 2012 Based on an interview by Photo Life Magazine

You can read the full article in the June/July issue of Photo Life Magazine: After 20 years of experience in advertising, editorial and fine-art photography, what motivated Daniel Malka to switch his focus to creating and developing this project? The first thing that comes to my mind is life and passion, the second is a sentence by Albert Camus “Despite appearances, my main occupation has always been love”. In the last 6 years, my focus has been more on personal projects focused on my humble humanistic approach to aesthetics and social environment. This new trajectory was set by my first project called VOYAGE, an internal as well as an external analysis one on our basic human values, through a journey in the Moroccan Sahara. En La Sombra Del Tiempo, in Mexico, is inspired by a love story and the theory that everything hit by light projects a shadow, even time. A journey through a multicultural, often hidden and forgotten Mexico struggling against corruption and using as their main weapon their sense of culture, kindness and humanism. My last and ongoing project Dance Me To The End Of Love, is a document, a story of my daily life and vision of close surroundings shot with an old iPhone, in order for the imperfections, colors and style to symbolize a roller coaster of daily emotions and a journey through memories, grief and healing. The Project is the sum of my life experiences as a photographer, a humanist, a father and a professor The presence of millions of images on the web, is diluting the ability of creative thinking, the sense of aesthetics and story telling of the next generation. I believe that technology should remain a means to communicate and not a goal. Communication and creativity in the human sense of the word, are key to our survival and well being as compassionate human beings. My experience as a father, has taught me that by encouraging creative thinking, it opened the doors not only to creativity, but to analysis, aesthetics and understanding in all fields ranging from science to music and art. My experience as a photography professor to adult students, has opened my eyes on how much resistance can be encountered to a creative process and how thick the walls of the box built by our often outdated education system can be. Finally, my experience as a man, has taught me that not all that is under the sun, shines. I am not politically inclined, but I believe naively in social justice, freedom and equality not only between human beings, but all living beings. I decided to play a part, as small as it may be in creating a small social change, by helping children develop creative thinking and story telling through photography, learn new skills, build a network with no language barriers, and bring awareness from their point on their condition. The project was developed to teach photography to youth between the ages of seven and fifteen, a critical stage of development, since these children are most at risk of abuse, injustice and poverty. Bringing global awareness from their point of view will also help various NGO’s and encourage private, corporate donors to help these children. 2.What is the most important goal of the project? It is quite difficult to tag only one single goal as being the most important. It is a complex combination of inter-related elements. However if I had to pick one, I would say, give all the children of the world an equal right to speech, self-expression that will bring them global notice and get them help through various channels, in in getting education, medical care, food, water, clothing, as well as creating a community of young photographers and story tellers around the globe. 3.How do you choose which local community groups, organizations and NGOs to collaborate with? Can you give an example of how your collaboration with local groups works? The NGO’s and communities are chosen through referrals, personal contacts and interviews. They are mostly small grass root NGO’s with very low administrative costs, which allows them to distribute the maximum funds possible to the groups they help. We also look at the type of work they do, and their closeness to the communities we want to work with. We all share the same goal; help children. For our first project in Peru, we have connected through personal references, people on the ground that have already distributed help to communities in Peru. We based our mission on the needs of these communities that are at every humanistic level. It’s the “How They See” project. 3.How do you choose which local community groups, organizations and NGOs to collaborate with? Can you give an example of how your collaboration with local groups works? The NGO’s and communities are chosen through referrals, personal contacts and interviews. They are mostly small grass root NGO’s with very low administrative costs, which allows them to distribute the maximum funds possible to the groups they help. We also look at the type of work they do, and their closeness to the communities we want to work with. We all share the same goal, to help children For our first project in Peru, we have connected through personal references, people on the ground that have already distributed help to communities in Peru. We based our mission on the needs of these communities that are at every humanistic level. It’s the “How They See” project. The contact is made directly with the community’s leader and the program is explained to the parents. Once on the ground, we meet with the groups for our first direct brief of the program. The parents help, collaboration and contribution is essential. 4.Are representatives from the Daniel Malka Photo Project on the ground at each location to teach/work/etc? Or do they train the local instructors without contact with the children? Photographers from the countries of origin are recruited on a screening of skills, portfolio, experience, ability to communicate, work with children, experience and rules of ethics. Daniel Malka trains them on the ground through the whole program, while he is working with the groups. He believes it’s the best way to train participating photographers in order to continue the work in the country and in turn train other photographers wanting a social change. 5.What do you hope to achieve through the exhibitions of the young photographers’ work? Where will the exhibitions be? The young photographers work will be exhibited in in participating galleries, in their respective countries and around the globe. It will also be exhibited online. NGO’s participation will be crucial in this process, as the work will help all humanitarian groups helping children globally. It will help us join our efforts in raising funds by showing the reality that surrounds these children from their point of view. 6.The website mentions income being re-directed back to the communities. Where does this income come from? The income will come from private, corporate donations, sponsorships and foundations. It will also come from licensing photos, books, as well as Daniel Malka’s current and passed work sales that go entirely to the project since January 2012. Moreover, photo licensing funds will go to the young photographer and family. 7.What kind of response have you had to the initiative (from the youth and local communities, but also from international communities)? Although the program is very young, the interest shown has been overwhelming at times. We are currently developing contacts in Canada with social workers in order to help various groups of children. We are as active as we can in promoting the project through word of mouth, social networking and interviews like this one. We currently have contacts and open doors in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Kenya, Cameroon, Burundi, Columbia, Spain, Romania and the list is constantly growing. The Project has been very well received in Peru for example by the community leaders and parents of the How They See project. 8.Have there been any surprises or particular challenges encountered in developing the program? So far the biggest challenge has been raising funds. Having said that, our launch show from March 11 th, online galleries has generated some funds from private donations and Fine Art Photo Sales. It’s only a question of time. The response so far is good and we are currently waiting for answers from various sponsorship requests. Daniel Malka is basically financing the How They See project from his own funds. Although we are well prepared and structured, we certainly will encounter challenges on the ground, but like any operation or photo production, we are ready to solve issues as they appear. We are still in the process of building this operation, as any other humanitarian group has told us, it’s not easy, but then again what is. So far the hard work and dedication of the volunteer team has made everything fall into place. We are confident of the success of the project. 9.What are your goals for the future of the program? Bring global awareness from the childrens point of view on their condition and environment, in order to help them and enable them to create a social change for them as well as their communities, respecting their cultural identity. Encourage creative thinking and vision as a form of free expression, education and aesthetics. Create a network of young photographers documenting from all corners of the globe, their issues, use the power of imagery and new media in order to inform us, from within, on abuse, injustice and poverty. Unite children in one voice and vision with no language barriers, in order to bring some change and remind us of our basic human values and that we are all responsible, because we can all help one way or another. Encourage creative thinking and humanitarian actions by the photographers joining us in educating the children and developing the program. 10. How can our readers help support this project? Are there particular guidelines about the types of cameras, memory cards or laptops that you accept? Do you use volunteers for anything ? All digital cameras are welcome, from point and shoot to to DSLRs. Memory cards, SD or Flash from 1G and up. Laptops,PC or Macs that are able to run Lightroom or Bridge. We are looking for photographers based in Cameroon, volunteers with NGO experience social networking experts and Fund Raising consultants. General Volunteers can also send their resume. USEFUL LINKS TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT: All the latest info can be found on our website and our Facebook Page We will need photographers interested in humanitarian missions in the following countries: Mexico, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Spain, and all provinces in Canada, as new projects emerge constantly. Please send your resumes trough our Careers Link To contribute Cameras, funds, or become a friend, sponsorships Our Current HOW THEY SEE fund raising campaign For all other detailed information including Universities, NGO’s, Foundations and Press communications Please contact Laura Carli: Finally I want to thank all the people, friends and my dear team mates for making all this possible. Special Thanks to Jenny and Photo Life Magazine.