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MULHOUSE, FRANCE 750 Portraits - Juin 2016

On the 28th of September, the 'Place de la réunion' in Mulhouse transformed into a giant artwork thanks to the participation of 750 students. Just as many portraits of young people were pasted on the floor, offering habitants of Mulhouse 900m2 of sharing, tolerance and diversity.

- How did your Inside Out action go?
It was amazing, students wanted to (and did!) prove their motivation to carry through their project. A beautiful human experience at school.
- What was the impact of your action?
Passers-by were surprised to see their portraits pasted to the ground. Most of the time, they didn't dare to walk on it.
- Do you have any advice for future participants?
Go for it without letting yourselves intimidated by the scale of the project; there are no issues, only solutions!



By the end of 12 years of civil war (1980-1992) over 75,000 people had been murdered and more than 10,000 had been “disappeared”, never to be heard from again. It is those people, their memory, and the families that have lost them, that we will try to bring to life with these photographs.
Today in El Salvador demands are being made to repeal the amnesty law, to investigate and punish those responsible for the serious violations of human rights that occurred during the armed conflict. The creation a Reparations Law, as well as comprehensive health and housing, a pension based on a minimum monthly salary and study scholarships for sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of The Disappeared are being sought. As well, concretes projects, technical and vocational training and the creation of a network of museums about historical memory are all part of a plan to compensate and remember the losses suffered by so many.
We hope the photographs we produce will be a small contribution to help guarantee that this violations of human rights not be forgotten, nor happen again.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
Working with Inside Out Was a wonderful experience. Everyone there was always helpful, patient and encouraging.
Overall it was an exceptional project to have taken on and seen through to completion.
I guess if I had to say which my “favorite” part was it was meeting with the community members that had
gone through such terrible trauma, to experience their gratitude.

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
Though thousands of people did see the portraits and were reminded of the era of forced disappearances and death. There were also quite a lot of news coverage, which is to say thousand of people in El Salvador, who did not see the action first hand, did see the portraits on television.
The action took place at a time of national debate about the question of “Forced Disappearances” so action did have an impact nation wide.
- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
No matter what the obstacle, preserver. From the initial conception to action, over 3 years passed, but it was all worth it.

- What is the best story or quote you collect from your action?
There was one pretty funny experience.
We had gotten up at 4 in the morning to drive many hours through the city to a location very far off the beaten path. We had our car LOADED with people and photographic equipment. We stopped very briefly to navigate a particularly rough patch of road. We all got out to lighten the load. When the driver go back in to start back up the hill, we found the car would not move. Any number of folks from the community came out to try and help us get the car going again. Nothing, no phones, no mechanics, no tow trucks. And we had a whole community of people waiting for us to come take their portraits. We figured we had better unload all the equipment, and start walking, or hitch some rides in an attempt to get to the location. Someone, at the last moment, suggested we check the emergency brake. And sure enough, that was the problem. It was released and we were on our way.


CAIRO , EGYPT 24 Portraits - March 2016

We hope this campaign shows to the people that even the most serious people have their quirks and encourage people to loosen up and stop judging others for their differences.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
The highlight of this project would definitely be the people's reactions, since this action was done at an international school in Cairo, my group and I didn't announce anything about this project to any other students. Thus, the student's reaction on a early Sunday morning, seeing some of their pictures hung on a school wall at a large scale was definitely the highlight. People at the beginning didn't understand anything, and I kept on seeing snaps on Snapchat of the wall with question marks on it and so on, and then we shared the statement and everyone understood the project and were amazed.

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
People actually reacted positively towards the project, since the project tackled a very important issue common between High School students but in a different form. Therefore, the fact that this issue was tackled in a different method grabbed the people's attention and actually had an impact.

- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
Take expressive photos in high quality, they are the best.

Harmony Within Diversity

DES MOINES, WA, UNITED STATES 28 Portraits - May 2016

Recognizing Mount Rainier High School as a place where different people from various ethnicities come to create one singular community, and by portraying young individuals and their messages, we wish to create one singular and understanding community.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
I enjoyed every aspect of my project. My highest point was when I received the rolled up, large inside out posters. That point made me happy because, I realized that my idea has come to fruition and I knew that the final phase, showing it off to my city was going to be a success. The low points were not finding people to help paste the posters. However, at the end, once the posters were posted, people in my community started appreciating it. They would stop walking and take a long look at all the posters, people waiting for traffic lights would look out their windows to look at the posters. people would also tell me that the posters were good conversation starters and that they enjoyed having it in our community.

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
I didn't live very close to where the posters were posted but whenever I go to the cite to check on them, I would see people looking at it and nodding, people seemed interested. Others would take a look at the posters while in traffic. People had told me that looking at the pictures made them happy. And people who knew about The Inside Out Project thought it was neat that Des Moines, a small city close to Seattle was a part of a global project. I've also received some written comments from the city's blog and on the paper I had the purpose of the project written on. Overall people seemed to like it and appreciate its presence in our community.

- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
The inside out people are supper helpful. And if you have an idea to make the world a better place just do an inside out project about it.

- What is the best story or quote you collect from your action?
Before I started to asked him questions, one of the boys in the posters knew what he wanted the world to know about him " An Asian with an afro!"


BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA 125 Portraits - 08 de Octubre del 2016

Memorias del Parche aims to promote through writing and photograph workshops, claim and immortalization of everyday practices that often has been forgotten. We have managed to sensitize young people about the positive impact that could generate photography and the questions that may surge and cause their own faces in order to reconcile with their generation.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
It was wonderful because the people of Ciudad Jardín neighborhood was happy and surprise. The impact was really positive. We considerate that it is possible to transform a space with art. The faces are the singularity of each one, the look is the best way for us to have tools in order to change our society. Inside Out Project was confortable and friendly. we feel very happy for to make this possible.

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
Very happy. Because we can transforme the spaces. The impact was very positive and recovery the "popular culture"!

- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
Only recommend to believe that it's possible to make projects.

- What is the best story or quote you collect from your action?
In general, people of the community were very happy when we installed the photographs. Then we noticed that some people do not enjoy to be near of the others. Some photos were attacked and we realized that many make territoriality in the area.


St Jean de Moirans, France, 50 portraits

Nos élèves passent généralement quatre années au sein du collège, âge auquel ils évoluent et apprennent beaucoup. L'établissement est à taille humaine, au centre d'un village calme mais où il se passe beaucoup de choses, culturellement et humainement parlant. Nous les voyons arriver à 10-11 ans, sortant de l'enfance et entrant dans cette grande aventure inconnue et parfois effrayante qu'est l'adolescence, un entre-deux âges, passage progressif vers l'âge adulte. Ce moment est plein de remises en questions, de doutes, de choix parfois difficiles mais constructifs dans lesquels nous, adultes, les accompagnons. Ils ont (ou pas) une vision de leur avenir, qui n'est certes pas figée, mais qui peut représenter un idéal, qu'ils concrétiseront peut-être…
Leur expression sur ces portraits exprime leur sentiment face à leur avenir proche ou plus lointain. Un panel de visages exprimant des émotions différentes, selon qu'ils voient cet avenir de façon positive, négative, ou incertaine… Une façon de les rendre petit à petit autonomes, pour continuer leur chemin grandis et positifs. Leurs visages s'effaceront progressivement pour signifier l'idée de leur passage dans nos murs, pour ensuite suivre chacun leur propre chemin ailleurs; chemin que nous leur souhaitons plein de lumière ! Bonne route à eux...

- Comment s'est déroulé votre action Inside Out?
Un enthousiasme communicatif des élèves, parents et enseignants.
Tous, passants y compris, n'avaient que des éloges sur les photographies et le projet créé par JR. Cela a eu un impact très positif dans le village.

- Quel a été l'impact de votre action?
Les élèves photographiés ont été surpris de se voir en si gros plan dans la rue devant leur collège, mais ils étaient également très fiers !
Les élèves de 3ème, revenus pour la remise de leur diplôme du Brevet, ont pu se voir (ainsi que leurs parents), concrétisant le fait que les élèves prennent ensuite leur envol vers leur propre avenir. Ils nous ont retrouvés pour un moment convivial, mais les yeux brillants de bonheur de s'émanciper dorénavant au lycée.

- Avez-vous rencontré des difficultés pendant la réalisation du projet? Si oui, comment les avez-vous résolues?
Problème lié à la matérialité de l'un des deux murs, vieux et avec beaucoup d'aspérités. Nous avons dû recoller plusieurs fois certains posters, qui se décollaient trop vite. L'ensemble a tenu environ 3 semaines, en extérieur, avec deux ou trois jours de pluie.

- Avez-vous des conseils a donner aux futurs participants?
Sur un plan purement technique, bien expliquer aux encolleurs de supprimer les bulles d'air, qui une fois gorgées d'eau de pluie, font décoller les posters plus rapidement.
Avec l'enthousiasme, ils ont collé assez vite, laissant trop d'air sous les posters.

- L'histoire la plus touchante ou la phrase la plus marquante au sujet de votre action Inside Out?
""Ils sont beaux ces enfants."
"C'est magnifique, bravo pour ce projet."
"C'est une très bonne idée. Dommage que ça ne puisse pas rester longtemps…"


LOdz, Poland, 29 portraits, October 2016

Lodz’s charm does not stem from a romantic history of a medieval city, there is no river where its residents could hang out on the riverbanks, there is no old town where they could walk about, there are no legends of dragons or billygoats. Instead the city boasts huge edifices of cast iron structures and brick walls. Unusual monuments. Factories. Some of them gain another life, acquire new functions. Although powerful machines are no longer inside, a spirit of industrial life is still present there. It is a spirit of women and men whose lives are an inherent part of history of those places.
Factories of Lodz – this is where local males and females were working daily striving for a better tomorrow. Their work space did not only serve to fulfil their professional duties, but was also a social meeting place – to make friends. It was a place to discuss, experience and share joys and sorrows. For long years. Time of hard work.
1989 brought an end to intense industrial life in Lodz. One after another companies declared bankruptcy. Production collapse, time crash, decay of social ties. Walls could not hold out, people dispersed. Years of silence and oblivion followed.
Until the time when we – contemporary inhabitants, entrepreneurs, clerks – noticed that walls still stand here and still have potential. And they are not so old. Doing fine they are waiting for a better tomorrow. Now is the time to take a good look at their mysteries and remarkable history.
The history of people who met there and sometimes were working there all their lives, who still walk around local streets and see brick remains of their past. These ordinary-extraordinary male and female workers are heroes and heroines of Lodz story. This dusty and smoky city is slowly awakening and poses questions: who are we? Where are we from?
Thus through hard work our grandmas and grandpas built the foundations of contemporary Lodz. We need to remember them. Let’s look at them. Let’s thank them. Certainly, there were times when they were pressed and subjected to backbreaking work. It is still time to think: where would we stand now, were it not for their work and patience? How would non-industrial Lodz look like? What did our closest, relatives, neighbours feel when they left the factory and had nowhere to come back to? What do they feel now as they look at post-industrial facilities waiting for a new life?
Inside Out Project Lodz is aimed at workers of non-existing industrial companies. We seek all those whose work contributed to building the history of Lodz.
Will workers please stand up? We would like to honour and thank you. We remember about your toil, we wish to get to know your history so we can get to know ourselves better – young inhabitants of Lodz. It is a question of identity, common history, which needs to go on.
Stand up! Your history is our history. We are all workers!

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
My favourite part was showing the result of the action to the participants. They were mostly older people and seeing their faces on the walls of buildings which are former factories they used to work in were pure joy. It was sometimes hard to persuade them to take part in the project because they were shy, but in the end it was really satisfying to see them felling comfortable while taking the picture.

-What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
The project is very meaningful for the community of Łódź, since the participants are the workers of former factories in the city. We tend to forget about their work and hopefully thanks to the project will remind of their hard work.

- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
Make sure to tell about the project as much as you can. Be friendly to people. Make sure they like their portraits.

-What is the best story or quote you collect from your action?
The reactions of people living in Łodź are the best. Children and grandchildren of photographed people are writing comments about the pictures, that finally someone took care about the memory of the workers.

-Did you encounter any issues while doing the project? If yes, how did you solved them.
It was difficult to encourage people to take part of the project. It's not easy for them to get back to the memories of the work and how they lost it because of the political transformations in Poland.

Ottoson Inside Out

Arlington, Maryland, USA 50 portraits - October 2016


After dealing with some unfortunate racist graffiti and spoken words at our school, our students are coming together to celebrate our differences and celebrate who we are and where we come from. We are coming together as one to stand for who we are and show that we do not tolerate any kind of hate towards one another at our school.

- How was your experience with Inside Out?
The Ottoson Middle School had an amazing experience participating in the Inside Out Project. It was such an inspiring project and was the perfect way to tackle the issues that our school community had been dealing with. Our experience was a really fun way to get our school community members involved in something they had never done before. It was also a great learning experience for students and community members to learn about the power of art and how we can use art as a way to get a message across to a targeted audience. Some of our highlights were seeing how many students wanted to get involved and how passionate they were about helping to get the project rolling! Another highlight was how wonderfully supportive our community was in helping us to make the project a reality. The project required a lot of approvals and once everyone understood why we were doing the project, they were on board to help make it happen. A major highlight was seeing our students become leaders in this project – for instance, seeing students as the photographers was amazing. They were so excited to take on the role of photographer and start directing their models! It was also a magical thing to see students come alive in front of the camera, I assumed we would get a lot of just straight on smiling faces, but instead, I was surprised to see students posing in ways that were SO them. When we saw the photos, everyone would say, oh that is so him or oh that is so something she would do…it was a real representation of who they are! Another highlight from participating was how speedy the Inside Out Project team was with getting us our posters as well as answering any questions that we might have had. Anytime we emailed with questions, the team would respond right away with helpful answers! We didn’t have many lows, but we did experience a few hardships along the way. For instance, just the planning alone for this project was very involved and required a lot of approvals from a lot of different people and at times we would run into problems. One of the big problems we ran into was that our district would not allow us (the art teachers) to actually do the installing due to liability issues since we were pasting so high up. We ended up being required to hire the department of public works as well as facilities to bring in bucket trucks for the workers to install the posters. We also had to pay for these workers to do the installation. We were definitely bummed that we could not help more with the installation. The only other low was that a handful of the posters that were sent to us had poor print quality. It was very obvious that when that particular batch of posters went through the printer, the printer must have been low on ink because there was a very large washed out band that went from top to bottom of all those posters. It was very disappointing but we had to paste them anyways because of how great the portraits were. Other than that, our experience was SO incredibly worth it and we recommend any other groups to join in on the Inside Out Project. I think we all would have different favorite parts of this project, but for the most part, a favorite part was seeing how much conversation it was generating. On the first day that students saw the installation, it was amazing to watch them walk up to the school and suddenly their face would light up and they would nudge their friend next to them and point and both light up with excitement. They would then start talking about it and finding their friends whose faces were up on the building. A teacher mentioned to us that while students waited outside for the bell to ring for the start of the day that she loved looking out at them and seeing them talking with each other, pointing at the installation and most importantly NOT on their phones!

- What was the impact of your group action? How did people react?
This project had and continues to have a very powerful impact on our school community. One major impact it had was that it generated conversation about the project, which was something we hoped. With this project we wanted everyone to not only see the installation but also to engage in a meaningful conversation with an adult or child about how important it is to respect and celebrate difference in our community and in our schools. With this project, we hoped and continue to hope that students will find a voice to defend their friends, neighbors, peers and even strangers against harmful comments and destructive behavior. We want to empower kids and community members to stand up for something that they believe in and whatever that may be, to say it in a big way, like what we did with the Inside Out Project. I would say that this project has helped us to achieve these goals and has impacted our community members to start new conversations. We have had teachers say they are going to bring their students outside to see it during their classes and this alone shows that it is impacting our community. It is pushing teachers to bring their students out and talk about it or merely just react to it and those reactions usually lead to deeper conversations. We have also involved this project into our advisory program, which is a once, a week program where students gather together with a teacher they don’t normally interact with on a daily basis and talk about important things going on and have discussions about topics that may be relevant to their lives. We decided to use this program as a place to start the discussion about this project and this has impacted this particular program even further. The advisory planners have made it very clear how much this project has inspired them to re-write the advisory curriculum to include more meaningful discussions similar to ones about the Inside Out Project. This project brought in so many amazing reactions – immediately teachers in our school community began flooding our emails with congratulations and thanks for bringing this project to our community. It was extremely heartwarming and made us feel like a real community of supportive members. We also got so many positive reactions from parents and students via our facebook page. The most amazing reaction was hearing how thankful both adults and kids were about us bringing this project to our community and how it immediately made them feel excited and happy about coming to work each day. We also felt a clear positive reaction when so many people started asking us if we were going to do more! The impact of this project has only begun, we continue each day to see how it is bringing people together and making our community feel more supportive of each other. We also had some of our students who were heavily involved in the project do video interviews of students seeing the installation for the first time and it was amazing to hear what students thought. They had nothing but positive reactions to share in their interviews.

- Do you have any advice for future group action leaders?
• Give yourself plenty of time to plan the project
• Get approval for locations ahead of time
• Figure out how you install ahead of time – if you need heavy equipment, get it approved and scheduled
• Make more paste than you think you’ll need
• Be prepared to get messy
• Let students know ahead of time if their photo is guaranteed to be pasted or not

- Do you have any other feedback for the Inside Out Project?
Thank you. Thank you to JR for starting this and thank you to his entire Inside Out Project team for making this project happen. You all helped our community to tackle a REALLY tough issue that we were dealing with and I am already seeing the impact it has had. You all are providing the opportunity for anyone around the world to have a voice and get their message or story told to the world – that is truly incredible and you should all be really proud of yourselves for bringing such an amazing thing to our world. So thank you.

- What is the best story or quote you collect from your action?
Something that was really amazing about our action had to do with two particular students who are siblings and got involved in the project. The younger sibling is in 6th grade and the older sibling, in 8th grade. The siblings moved from England last year and follow the religion of Sikhism. Participants of this religion typically do not cut their hair, which is something the siblings found hard for their peers to adjust to since it is something they may not be used to. The younger sibling wraps his hair into a headscarf and because of this, he ended up being called a Muslim by another student at school. It had been hard for these siblings to adjust to school and make new friends. Thankfully, the siblings ended up joining the Ottoson Inside Out club after school. The older sibling, the 8th grader, was very excited to join and immediately became very excited when she learned about the project. She related to her father, who is a photographer, and became very interested in helping with the photography aspect of the project. She lit up when I gave her my camera to start photographing students during our photo sessions. Her younger brother also ended up getting his photograph taken and pasted on the building. Seeing him light up while getting his photo taken, with his headscarf on, was amazing. He seemed confident and excited to express himself. On install day, the siblings both came with their parents who were so supportive and excited to be there. We ended up getting a great photograph of the whole family together in front of the installations where the younger brother’s portrait was hanging. Not only did we get their photograph together, but also they all took the pose of the younger brother and it was a truly magical moment. You could tell that they felt connected to the community through this project whereas before they felt like they were still adjusting to not only a new community but also an entire new country. It was a great moment. During the install, the older sibling ended up taking a photograph of the building during install and it came out amazing! So amazing that we used it as the background image for our invitation to our unveiling ceremony. She was so excited that we used her photo and she felt so proud to have been the one to take the photo. She also mentioned how excited and proud her parents were of her. It truly felt like we impacted not only the siblings but also their entire family.