3rd year student Zia Atahi will be travelling to Bogor, Indonesia from June 19 to conduct a photography workshop with a class of 17 at the Cipayung Refugee Educational Centre. The centre offers a community of learning for children, women and mixed groups of those who originally come from the regions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Only formed two months ago, the class for photography is one that has raised a lot of interest from the community. Unfortunately, there are only 4 cameras to be shared between amongst such a large group and this is reason why we want to help raise awareness about this important centre.
Zia’s original plans for travelling to Bogor was to enrich his ongoing folio series which is about the Hazara community in Melbourne. He wanted to capture the process of how refugees travel from one place to another and therefore contacted the head of the learning centre, who then offered him something significant in return.
Putting aside his folio idea for the trip, Zia has now organised exercises and activities for the group of 17 who are deeply interested in the art of photography. He yearns to first make them comfortable with the basics of the craft and get them familiar with inspiring artists in the field. What he needs assistance with from the PSC family and those in the photography industry, is a lending or donation of cameras which will help the photography class greatly. Zia hopes to let all 17 students express their views and experiences with their own tools, so that he can return to Melbourne and showcase the body of work created by them. He also aims to publish a photography book as a result of his workshop, so that the unique talents of the group can get the recognition they deserve.
Zia feels a strong connection with the purpose of his trip to Indonesia, as his own introduction to photography stemmed from a difficult experience he was going through as an architecture student. Photography made him feel truly happy and inspired him to turn his life around, joining PSC as a result. Although he was always creative as a child, Zia discovered a new strength in his ability to connect with people.
‘For me, photography is a way to document and tell stories. I feel good about taking photos not just for myself but for everyone. I’m really excited about going to the Cipayung community centre to learn from the people there.’
We are looking forward to hearing more about Zia’s trip to Indonesia and wish him all the best with his endeavours. If you would like to donate or lend your camera to the community centre via Zia, feel free to contact our front desk at 03 9682 3191 and firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with our course director, Daniel Boetker Smith at email@example.com. Fore upcoming updates about Zia's travels, follow him on Instagram: @ziatography.