A new reason to find joy

Last February we started another Photography Project at Global Generation, funded by Marriott Harrison LLP, Arcadia (Architects of Change) and Uta (United Talent Agency)

During the project, Kitty, Marua, Cecile, Janelle and Samika worked with Global Generation's ‘I, We & the Planet’ frame in which, through reflective photography and writing, they explored their personal, interpersonal and wider connectivity to the elders from Age Uk Camden and Roseberry Mansions and became co-producers of the project.

With Heather Kelly and Silvia Pedretti's support, young people explored the topic with all the senses and tried to catch that through a lens. The photographers were invited to inquire the power photography has to inspire social consciousness and particularly to raise awareness about loneliness (more than a million older people in the UK say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member) and dementia in King’s Cross.

The project will end up with a travelling exhibition that will be launched on the  1st of June at Marriott Harrison’s offices and then travel to Great Croft Centre and come back home at the Skip Garden for the Open Garden Square weekend (17th and 18th of June).

These are Samika’s words reflecting back on the project.

by Samika Barclays (Senior Generator and participant of the 2017 Photography Project)

I got an introduction to photography that I will never forget.

I was taught that anything goes and everything goes

I was taught that no matter what you think of your own work, others can view it way differently.

There is no one meaning

And no one meaning is more significant than another

and getting to learn other people's views of  “old” was refreshing and eye opening.

Just like everyone I met in the weeks of the Photography Project

So when the time finally came to meet everyone at the Age UK Camden’s Croft centre I was excited,

nervous, anxious

and every emotion under the hot son while we were walking there.

I was also late and meeting Brian (Deputy Manager) and hearing the story of how it all came about (the centre was started when a body of an elder person was found in a apartment after 3 months from the death)

it warmed and broke my heart a little.

Everyone there were fighters: Edward, Margarine, Auntie Pat and Pam, Rob and John and everyone there.

Getting to take pictures of them humbled me as I was able to capture the life they still process even if I am unable to express to others how lively and valuable they are and valuable as the gift they give you, like cold Ice cream straight into the hands.

And being able to go to Roseberry Mansion and capture the lives of those rarely visited by their own kin, humbled me rather.

This time it was their home I was intruding and again I wanted to capture every part of it, immortalise them behind a frame where they can not be hurt.

And then going back to Croft Centre (Age Uk Camden) to find out that there has been hospitalised clients, hurted me a little.

I never knew I could get attached in such a short space of time.
It made me happy to share my memories with them as they were too tried to show their beautiful memory books to us.  It was magical to have a try at everything and capture that through a lens.

I love the feeling of the weight of the camera in my hands but honestly it wasn’t until I had a reason to photograph the elders that I truly got into it and I found my reason and that reason was everyone there, everyone who made me smile and made me reflect, everything could all be taken away with me.

The photography project opened my eyes to a whole new reason to find joy.