The H.E.A.T. Foundation has recently finalized the Invisibles PhotoVoice project for NorthShore disadvantaged participants.
Why the Invisibles PhotoVoice project?
The Invisibles project was designed with the goal to make a measurable improvement in the lives of the participants by engaging them in a bottom-up planning process for a photo voice project and a series of supporting interventions, implementing photography workshops, gatherings and supporting the partakers for expressing themselves through creating art, and catalyzing the recognition and sale of their work through participating in an art exhibition event. The core of the project was a series of photography workshops in which we printed and prepared selected photos from the workshops for the two additional mixed media sessions. During these sessions the participants converted them into mixed media pieces with the help of a professional instructor. The finalized works were showcased and offered for sale during the Eastside Cultural crawl with 100% of the proceeds going to the artists that chose to partake. The Invisibles project has utilized a multi-pronged approach to engage multiple community partners to provide an opportunity for isolated individuals to come out of the shadows, learn a skill, experience a sense of belonging, and become empowered in a mutually supportive group setting. The workshops provided an alternative, for a few hours a week, to the disadvantaged individual’s harsh reality, a safe, effective, fun, and creative environment that involve group interactions, lessons, and meals.
Format of the workshops
- The Invisibles project included 8 sessions of photography and 2 mixed media workshops for 6 homeless participants on Wednesday evenings during July and August.
- In all sessions 3-5 facilitators and 2-4 professional photographers, skilled instructors, and teaching assistances were present. Sessions started at 6:45pm with a photography walk and shoot, followed by lessons on photography basics and activities to make understanding and learning the concepts easier.
- Home cooked food, tea/coffee, fruit juices, snacks, and fresh fruit were included in every workshop.
- The first 4 sessions were taught with Holga cameras to allow the participants to focus on the subject and story rather than the settings.
- On the third week each participant was given a film point and shoot camera to take with them and shoot during the week.
- From the 4th session each participant was given a film SLR kit as a gift for the rest of the project and to allow them to continue using their newly acquired skills after the workshops are concluded.
- Our professional mixed media instructor equipped with all the required tools and materials led the last two sessions and taught the participants how to mount and convert their selected printed photos into a mixed media artwork.
In alphabetical order
- Alex Sirbu – Video documentary lead
- Anahit Lou – Graphic designer
- Anita Zangeneh – Lead facilitator and project planning team member
- Arezoo Esmaili – Photography instructor, facilitator, and curriculum design
- Asad Yahya – Video documentary
- Behnaz Edalat – Workshop support, networking
- Bob Akester – Photography instructor
- Brian Nguyen – Video documentary
- Diana Ihnatovych – Art therapy curriculum design
- Farnaz Edalat – Facilitator and project planning team member
- Francis Vala – Project planning team member and H.E.A.T foundation director
- Hamid Khaleghi – Bookkeeping/Accounting
- Iman Makaremi – Barcode technology, IT
- John Bergese – Facilitator and workshop design
- Karaan Singh – Assistant photography instructor
- Pouneh Naderi – Project planning team member
- Ross DenOtter – Photography and mixed media instructor
- Salma Kheiravar – IT and website
- Sandra Vasquez – Lead participant coordinator
- Sara Rouhani – Workshop support logistics
- Shideh Taleban – PR and media lead
- Madhava Musterer – Photography instructor
- Mahbod Rouhany – Project manager, project planning team member, and H.E.A.T foundation director
- Mina Taheri – Workshop support, Mental health and logistics
- Nasim Peikazadi – Art therapy curriculum design
We have had some wonderful and supportive partners such as, the Presentation House, Always Best Care Seniors Services, City of North Vancouver, Rocket Repro, WSP, Pink Monkey Studios, North Vancouver Loblaws City Market, Lookout Shelter, The Northshore Salvation Army, The Health Connection Clinic, Beau Photo, North Vancouver Save on Foods (1250 Marine Drive), London Drugs and many other organizations and volunteers.