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We Are People Too

Delta, Canada 6 Portraits - April 2016

Students for Syrian Refugees! A campaign started by Seaquam Secondary's Social Justice 12 and IB Art 11 students. The goals of this project are: to combat negative stigma (e.g. Islamophobia), bring awareness to the events that occurred forcing these children and their families (in most cases) to leave Syria (13.5 million total and counting; 6 million are children), raise money for sustainable living through an art show at the end of the term, and to help give these individuals a voice and platform to be seen. Canada has agreed to sponsor 25,000 refugees; 2,700 of whom are immigrating to the Surrey/Delta area in British Columbia, Canada. Through anonymous portraiture capturing just the eyes of our affiliate volunteers we are using the power of art and photography to transcend cultural barriers, differences, and misrepresentation in hopes of reaching people's inner humanity allowing them to realize that "WE ARE PEOPLE TOO!"

- How was your experience with InsideOut?
I think one of he most magical aspects of the project and campaign was seeing the way it brought my students together. When I first starting teaching Social Justice 12 and IB Art 11 at Seaquam Secondary all of my students kind of had select groups and cliques they would stick to; groups they were most comfortable in. But by the end of the campaign they told me that these divisions had dissolved and students who wouldn't normally engage with one another were hanging out with and learning from each other. It became like a family. You would walk into the classroom and the room was buzzing with passion, excitement and focus. It was really beautiful to see. We successfully bridged the gap between the classroom and the real world which to me is the goal of true education. These amazing students began to see that they have real potential to effect change not only locally but globally. When save the children in camp Za'atari gave us permission to use their photos of refugees to paint, when JR and the inside out team backed our project and when LUSH headquarters in the UK sent us soap for refugees it was like, wait, what? People around the world believe in us? It was magical and this just fueled their focus and empowered the students on another level. When the portraits arrived and we opened to box to preview them some students including myself teared up. Asking ourselves, how did we do this in just two months? The portraits were beautiful and the best part was that they were taken by students.

Time to Muse

Berlin, Germany 63 Portraits - April 2016

For our TIME TO MUSE photo project, we portrayed more than 60 refugees, activists, social workers, social entrepreneurs and volunteers with closed eyes, as we want to give a face to the community that is rising from the migration 'crisis', rather than marginalizing refugees as a separate entity. The portraits are installed in symbolically meaningful public spaces around Berlin in order to raise awareness about this matter and to become part of the fabric of collective consciousness.
We want to dissolve borders and divisions so there is no designation or explanation as to who is who, as we would like each person to stand for herself/himself, as an individual, and at the same time, as a precious member of the community... acknowledged as strong and beautiful human beings, side by side.
The closed eyes embody an appeal for people to slow down, turn inwards and re-connect with one’s self… letting go of control and allowing oneself peaceful stillness in this speeded-up, hyper-stimulating and demanding world. May these images serve as a reminder and inspiration for conscious living in a just and peaceful world.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
Highlights:
The process of creating the portraits was a wild and beautiful journey - we got to know so many people, listening to their stories and looking into their eyes… and then later on seeing the reflection of this in the people looking at the portraits installed under the sky.

Not only did we meet with more than 60 people, in their homes and at events, but we also collaborated with other artists, festivals, locations, collectives and were even invited by the United Nations to present the portraits as part of the World Humanitarian Day in Geneva in August 2016. This revealed the universality of the cause of our project… It means a lot to us how the project grew and planted new seeds - new seeds to grow from, connect with, calm down and find peace in.

This was profoundly touching as well as insightful. Throughout the production, we became more aware of the nuances of the challenges the community involved in the migration 'crisis' is currently facing - but also of the emergence of new bridges, built between cultures and individuals.

Team Work:
All the helping hands and minds and laughters fused together, into the project, giving rise to a warm community that grew together as a family. We learned a lot from each other and generated a wonderful energy… Our friendships grew closer and we now understand even more that we can truly rely on each other, now matter how stressful the situation.

3 Quartiers en 1! 100 Portraits d'Habitants

Angers, France 100 Portraits - September 7th, 2016

3 neighborhoods in 1 !
100 faces will be pasted on the walls of the neighborhood Justices, Madeleine Saint Leonard; all have one thing in common : they each live here ! These black and white faces show the inhabitants' diversity and how they live in harmony, together in the neighborhood.
We are 25,000 neighbors, living in different corners, that make up the identity of the district and we want to honor the inhabitants and give them a platform to express themselves.
This action was initiated by the Community center 'Trois Mats', which is part of the Justices Madeleine St Léonard Territory, East of the city of Angers, since 1976. Today, our center reaches half the people in the neighborhood.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
Our action lasted 6 months, from the moment we started taking the portraits of the district's inhabitants, at the community center but also in the street, with the help of the neighborhood's photo club.
People were proud to be a part of this ephemeral street art exhibition ! The highlight was the pasting, in 7 different places of the district !
We offered a march to discover the portraits.

- What was the impact of your action?
We managed to show the social diversity of our neighborhood through this exhibit, as was our goal. We are thrilled that we were able to put forth our district by doing so. Participants were delighted to be a part of the action... we even received more portraits than expected !

SHOW YOUR DIFFERENCE!!!

LE PONT DE CLAIX, FRANCE 50 Portraits - septembre 2015 - juin 2016

Difference provokes unkind looks, hurtful judgments, violent reactions... All this prevents us from being ourselves.
In September 2015, teachers and pupils of the secondary school Moucherotte from Pont-de-Claix decided to highlight different personalities thanks to the project "Inside Out : show your difference! ".
The purpose of this project is based on participation in Inside Out Project because it enables us to share our message not only with schools in Pont de Claix and former pupils but also with the whole world!
Express your difference and enjoy doing it!

- How was your experience with Inside Out - Highlights?
The three best moments were :
1) The discovery of the posters : they were absolutely beautiful !!
2) We transformed the high school's hall in a huge gallery of portraits and a theater during the opening day. More than 130 people came to see the portraits and the lecture of the students. It was a intense moment of gathering.
3) The inauguration of the new name for our high school. Now, it's name is Nelson Mandela. Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson was here, and we had the chance to introduce the project and the portraits to him. Very emotional moment!

SCHOOL VALUES

BARCELONA, SPAIN 10 Portraits - September 2016

We've been working with students on School values for an entire course. Within this course, we've organized a questionnaire about these values addressed to a significant number of the members of the school community, including all levels and ages, students, parents and staff. The values represented in the images ( posters) are the ones which, according to the survey, we should aim at. They're our objectives or targets. This is why we want to exhibit them at a significant and visible place in our school.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
It's been a wonderful experience thanks to the philosophy teacher. We worked on the project with a group of 28 students of the sociology class during the whole year. We wanted to reflect the topic of values within our school community and carried a very deep survey on school values with the whole community.
For me, and for many students as well, the most significant part was the debate we had among the participants and the rest of students at school and also the process of taking the pictures. It was fun. Students are really proud of the project
We hope the tattooed messages become inspirational for the community

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
The whole school community was surprised and amazed by the result of the project. People looked at the big portraits with astonishment, especially students who saw their mates portraits and empowered by the pics of the project.

1000 SOURIRES DE LAURIS

LAURIS, FRANCE 1 000 Portraits - 6 au 9 Juillet 2016

WE DEFEND OUR CASTLE WITH 1000 SMILES IN LAURIS
IN SMILE WE TRUST
Lauris is a small village but living in the shadow of the next village, Lourmarin. Because of this situation, some wrong ideas about our city emerged, and I see a lot of people being sad about it. I think INSIDE OUT PROJECT can give some joy to people of Lauris

- How was your experience with Inside Out - Highlights?
Achieving a collage of more than 1000 portraits was the most human and amazing experience of my life because nobody believed in it at first. My team even said I was crazy to do it. The feeling of completing the project was sensational.

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
Our team had a lot of solidarity! At the end of the festival, everyone was moved to both laughter and tears. It was beautiful!

- Can you still observe the impact/consequences of your Inside Out today?
Lauris's castle, which used to be deserted, welcomed a lot of visitors during the summer thanks to our project. We received a lot of gratitude from the inhabitants, the schools, the associations etc.

COSTRUIAMO LA COMUNITÀ DEL XXI SECOLO

ROME, ITALY 320 Portraits - May 2016

COSTRUIAMO LA COMUNITÀ DEL XXI SECOLO is a kaleidoscope of portraits of young students whose expressive richness is the translation of the multiethnic cohesion of the community which MAXXI museum feels to belong to.
On the occasion of the exhibition “Extraordinary visions – L’Italia”, the Education Department has developed a workshop involving the neighborhood Public School: thanks to its ethnic mixture it embodies a welcoming message of multicultural integration, giving birth to a coral work of art focused on the emotional expression of personal feelings.

This experience was extremely enriching both for the MAXXI Education as well as for the local school, Guido Alessi – I.C. Via Micheli, involved in a workshop with the participation of 18 primary and middle-school classes. Each child was asked to express what they felt at the museum, in front of the installations of contemporary art.
They had to focus on their emotional reaction and to express it in their personal way, so as to allow their partner to realize a portrait; this portrait has become the script for the shooting session.
Even if it was very difficult for them to focus on their emotivity and to express it naturally, this experience was essential to help them understanding the difference between every personal interpretation of a wide range of emotions, according to their different sensibility, familiar context and cultural background.
The greatest satisfaction was in the moment of pasting the portraits; the students were incredibly excited at recognizing themselves into this gorgeous many-voiced work of art. The reaction of the passersby is even more curious; not only parents and relatives, but also random passersby are constantly attracted by this kaleidoscope of pictures whose expressive richness is the outcome of the multi-ethnic cohesion of the school community, to which the museum feels it belongs after years of shared learning activities.
My favorite part was certainly the students involvement during the billposting; the enthusiasm of their concrete participation was really thrilling.

Portraits against Gender Violence

Palencia , Spain 20 Portraits - Nov/2016

Against Gender Violence we are everyone and we won't shut up. Our body isn't available for your desire. There, where your gaze ends, begins my coldness.