“LEARN, CREATE AND SHARE” by THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

When I started this project, I was told it was quite crazy and ambitious. When I completed the third successful project with the burnt children of Aniquem and the third exhibition in 2 years I was asked by my Honorable … Continue reading

HOW THEY SEE THE GOLD RUSH / THE PUERTO MALDONADO PROJECT

Florida Baja, Puerto Maldonado, Madre De Dios, Peru, April 2014

Daniel Malka Madre De Dios Peru

River Madre De Dios,Peru, the shores of many rivers are destroyed by gold mining

Thanks to a collaboration with the NGO ANIA, we brought the How They See project to Florida Baja, a district of about 80 families located 50 km of Puerto Maldonado, on the Interoceanic Highway in Madre De Dios, Peru.

The project was run with the cooperation of the teacher, director of a primary school, harboring 22 children aged 6 to 13 years old, all in the same classroom.

The stories told by the children and families of Florida Baja gives us a cross-section of life in the area of Puerto Maldonado in the jungle of Peru.
They are a testimony of the severe multilevel issues caused by the rising price of gold and the ongoing illegal gold mining in Madre De Dios.

Of course, the lack of resources and struggle to meet basic living needs is a common denominator. Most families struggle to make ends meet.
I can not put in words my outrage at the social consequences, minors rights violations and environmental disaster brought about by the gold rush in this jungle of Peru.

Once again, I need to emphasize the importance of story telling education in populations at risk to give us a true cross section of the issues voiced so bluntly and so honestly by the children when they are given the opportunity and tools to do so in the safe environment we create for them.

The School

The Class

Main Issues Observed and/or Reported to Us
- Extreme poverty
- Child abuse
- Prostitution
- Sexual Abuse of minors (reported to authorities, to be discussed in a separate article)
- Lack of resources for proper education: computer, internet, books, sustained children rights education, social worker aid.
- Severe deforestation and mercury contamination of rivers, wildlife and vegetation by gold mining: 70,000 acres of jungle in 4 years.

11 year old with her 10 day old baby as a result of sexual abuse by step father

Results Achieved with 35 hours of classes and 8 days living in the community
- Complete program in verbal story telling, drawing and documentary photography
- discovery of new talent
- Group interaction and promoting self value
- Create a safe environment for the children to tell their stories
- Identification of serious social issues and immediate needs of the children
- Focus of classes on the environment and childrens rights
- Repair the school playground
- Supply the school with the tools and seeds for an orchard
- Involve families in the building of a model orchard to be replicated at home with the plants of the school orchard.
- Emphasize the importance of the orchards as a source of better nutrition, protecting the environment, and as a potential alternate source of income to working in mining.

The drawing class

Documenting The Orchard

The Swings are repaired, thank you Pietro

Parents and children preparing the orchard

Planting the seeds for vegetables

Objectives Remaining To Achieve

- Continue the Learn Create and Share Program
- Get a computer and internet connection for the children in order to share more work and communicate.
- leave at least 5 cameras with the school teacher for the children to continue their work.
- Build a small library in the school
- have a social worker visit at least once a month that can educate the children on their rights and encourage them to verbalize the issues.
- monitor the progress of the Orchard program.
- Set up an exhibition of the photos taken by the children.
- Create a fund to help single minor mothers victims of rape and sexual abuse.
- Educate girls on their rights and to break the cycle of abuse and reduce the risks of prostitution.

All the children of the world have the same right to be heard and achieve their dreams

My conclusions and thoughts:

In a paradise like setting in the jungle of Peru there are children full of hope, smiles, affection and dreams just like any other children all around the globe. They are materially very poor, no doubt, but their hearts are full of dreams and love.
Puerto Maldonado is a city decimated by strikes, delinquency, prostitution, direct consequence of the gold rush in Madre De Dios.
One can feel the hostility in the air. An anarchy like atmosphere. Illegal strikes, armed mining workers, violent demonstrations forcing stores and markets to shut down.
The illegal gold mining and the ever increasing price of gold is a disaster not only for the environment but also for the children and the population.
Single mothers of all ages seeking income as prostitutes. An infernal vicious circle that needs to be broken.
Schools with less than the bare minimum to be able to teach a basic education, with overwhelmed teachers having to play the role of director, mother, social worker, psychologist and environmentalist.

These children might not be war refugees, but in many ways they are. They are the forgotten victims and figures of resiliency of a different kind of war: the quest for gold at any cost.

It is incumbent on us, NGO’s, government, parents and human beings to brake the cycle of poverty and lack of education that brings about social chaos in a land where children’s dreams and lives are chattered.

A sustainable education program is a large part of the answer.
We have reached the hearts of families and given some hope to the children of Florida Baja.
Parents came running to build the school orchard, swings, and to thank us for being there.
The project and the results obtained in Florida Baja puts the emphasis on how valuable a Learn Create and Share education model is in not only educating the children and families but also in educating us by collecting anthropological and true data from the field, allowing us to identify directly the issues and needs, as opposed to relying on outdated statistic sheets. I say outdated because by the time these stats are collected and programs are developed, the picture and issues have changed or evolved.
In a country as diverse as Peru, lit is crucial to adapt a creative education program to each area and ethnic group according to their language, values, culture and specific needs. An at large program can not work.

Our Learn Create and Share education model has proven its efficiency in Ruka and now the jungle of Florida Baja.
Children learn, create and share their lives, issues and values in many forms of story telling.

In order for the program to continue and to reach our objectives, we need the help of everyone.
You can support our programs by sponsoring, or simply donating what you can by clicking on the DONATE button at the top right of the page.

Thank you.

Daniel Malka, Lima, Peru.

Many thanks to Joaquin Leguia from ANIA, Ysabel, Segundo, the children and parents of Florida Baja.
My gratitude goes to my childhood friend Pietro Micheletti for all his support and coming to share another chapter of my life.

© Copyright on all texts and photos, Daniel Malka, All Rights Reserved.

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT WORKSHOP “HOW YOU SEE”

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THE “HOW YOU SEE” PHOTO WORKSHOP:

Creative Documentary Photography

Development and production of a personal photo documentary.
This workshop will explore the various elements of importance for the development of a mini photo-documentary of editorial nature, emphasizing personal vision, style and a creative approach.
Based on the narrating power of image as a single piece, integration into a group of 8-10 images that tell a strong story from a very personal view.

LEVEL: Intermediate to advanced

LOCATION: Lima, Peru

DURATION: 24 hours

DATE: March 1st and 2nd, March 8th, March 15th (6 hour days)

GROUP SIZE: Minimum 7- Maximum 10

COST: $300.00

LANGUAGES: Français, English, Español

The participants will have to register by February 26, 2014
They will have to submit a theme of interest that will be discussed with me by February 23.

For more detailed info and a course outline please email: daniel@malkaphotoproject.org

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT IN FOCUS INTERVIEW

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Based on an interview by Photo Life Magazine
You can read the full article in the June/July issue of Photo Life Magazine: www.photolife.com

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: lcarli@malkaphotoproject.org

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.

THE FIRST 3 MONTHS OF THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

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January 26th 2012, from my usual table at Shaika Cafe where the idea came alive…to April 26th, going over the details of my first mission.

Rain shine, snow, rich, poor, with everything or nothing, I am on my way, with my heart, soul, cameras and willpower. What more does one need.
I made a commitment to all these children, and I will help them!

I have an amazing team of friends and volunteers around me, they work, call, support and believe in this as much as I do.
I have to say thank you all, I know that my passion sometimes make it tough to work with me. Thank you for your patience.
My daughter has been amazing in encouraging me and wants to be part of it as well with her photo and video abilities.

We have doors open in many countries, and great people that are involved in helping us.

We have received cameras, money and sold quite a few prints.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the ones that have contributed to the project.

We have had some great press coverage and there is more coming.

Of course a little help from some sponsors would be great, considering the thousands and thousands of dollars I have spent on their equipment during my career.
All we are asking for is some point and shoot cameras for the kids to use. Trust me, not only they will use them, but they will do it proudly and and the results will be impressive.

A couple of plane tickets would be great as well.

I have no issue in throwing in my money in this project to help the kids, and I am doing it.
It’s about humanism, creativity, photography, life, art therapy and mostly remind these children that the whole world can see their photographs and will help them in changing for the better.

I am amazed at life’s irony sometimes.
It turns out that it was easier for me to make $5 to $15 000 per day shooting dreams fabricated by ad agencies than it is to get $5 to help overcome the sad reality that surrounds so many children in this world. A chaos created by greed, injustice, lack of education and mostly poverty. They did not ask for this.

It is all our duty to do something and create a change, as small as it can be, but a change.
Saving one child is sure worth a 4 day hike in the mountains of South America or a 6 day journey in Sub Saharan Africa.

In three months, we have founded our project, generated thousands of visitors from every corner of the world to our site, we are growing little by little and the first photographs by the children will be up very soon.

I am calling on all activists, volunteers, fund raisers, photographers, journalists, corporations, to call, email, post, speak to people you know to get more cameras and one or two plane tickets.
A buck or two to the One Dollar campaign will go a long way as well.

We also need volunteers to help us with our social networking, and others with NGO experience.
We are still looking actively for a photographer based in Cameroon.

I will keep you updated of our progress!

Thanks to all the friends and supporters!!!

Thanks on behalf of the children!

We are on our way!
Daniel Malka

BEHIND THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

© 2012 THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved

I have lived and quite a few things in my life.
As I said in my book VOYAGE, some call it my crazy life, I simply call it my life.

The Daniel Malka Photo Project is the sum of all my dreams, friendships, smiles, tears, laughs, losses, visions, every day’s realities so often forgotten, and all the love and compassion that I have to and can offer.

Life has offered me the chance to be able to see, feel and tell stories.
Destiny has given me the chance to travel and understand that not all under the sun shines.
It has also given me a child, and a great one. I always loved children, their sincerity, their sensitivity and their ability to be amazed.
My daughter always wanted a brother or a sister, I wanted to have 5 or 6 children. Destiny gave me one.

Merging my teaching skills, my experience and vision as a photographer my love for life and humanity, my desire to make a small change in a child’s life as I did for my own, has led me to the creation of this dream and project.

I have decided to dedicate the rest of my life and all my passion in helping as much as I can in bringing as small as it is a social change to the condition of the forgotten thousands of children victims of social injustice, inhuman conditions, wars, greed and remind the world that we all share responsability for the suffering of each child on this planet, simply because we can all help one way or another.

The Daniel Malka Photo Project’s principal goal is to teach these children skills to remind us who they are and that they deserve the same as our own children.
Thy will express the beauty, their love, their smiles their griefs and share their values with the rest of us as thousands of other children around the globe.

We can all help them by supporting in many ways the project. It might carry my name, but this project is not mind, it belongs to all these children that we will be able to help.

I want to thank life and destiny, for bringing me to this point in my life.

I need to thank from the bottom of my heart to all the volunteers and dear friends working day in and day out for this project to become a success, and that soon we are able to buy shoes, medication and so many things that these kids need.

This project is a dream come true not only for me but for all the children we will be able to reach and help smile back at life.

 

A big part of the inspiration to the project is the music from The National.

I’ll go braving everything
With you swallowing the shine of the summer
I’ll go braving everything
Through the shine of the sun

But I won’t be no runaway
Cause I won’t run
No I won’t be no runaway
Cause I won’t run

The theme song of The Daniel Malka Photo Project is: The Runway by The National

 

THE RUNWAY