Photography Without Borders

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An example of what Photography Without Borders does. Photo by John Arroyo, an 11th grader at the time.

Telling Their Stories

Since 2009 Photography Without Borders has been teaching youth how to tell their powerful, personal stories using traditional and digital photographic techniques.

We call ourselves Photography Without Borders because borders can be both geographical and perceived. We give voice to students in the Kensington and Olney neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, some of the most disenfranchised parts of the city. They use the classroom to communicate their feelings in a supportive space and gain confidence to speak thoughtfully in a group setting. Their powerful stories help create change locally and on class trips. Many of their images have dealt with the violence, blight and drug problems that have plagued North Philly for decades. Their photos have been so powerful that Philadelphia City Council has used them during their hearings as examples of what issues affect the North Philadelphia community. Just taking a group to the Christmas Village in Center City felt like an adventure for many. Imagine their wonder at leaving the country to visit other students in Colombia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these students documented their struggles and found joy in their daily lives despite the obstacles.

Note:  The above descriptive information came from the organization's About Us page.

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