EITHERsee the last 12 years, an extraordinary grassroots movement has been working alongside global sporting events such as the football, cricket and rugby union World Cups, the English Premier League and the Olympic Games.
Young ethnically diverse people from developing and developed countries have transformed themselves into professional photographers to record these festivals of sport within the context of their own lives and communities.
These young people are often from backgrounds of abject poverty, bypassed by formal education, employment opportunities, shelter and basic nourishment.
The catalyst has been an initiative called the Wembley to Soweto Foundation which offers photography training and on-the-job learning and has fostered life skills that enable these young people to move forward with their lives and make a positive contribution to society. The global charity has sought to change the narrative of art accessibility, encouraging big dreams for creators of the future.
The foundation forms collaborative partnerships with artistic, sporting, and public institutions to allow for a broad range of vocational experiences as well as educational benefits for the wider community. It aims to create a global network of training opportunities for young people in order to nurture self-belief, ambition and confidence through a passion for photography – regardless of means and background.
Leica Camera donated camera equipment to the Wembley to Soweto Foundation which the cohort of eight students from South Central and East LA (pictured below) used during the project. Under the tutelage of the internationally renowned photographer Jillian Edelstein, and former students who passed on their knowledge, the cohort learned photography techniques in a variety of locations from the Getty Center to LA Galaxy stadium, to the electric atmosphere of a downtown boxing gym, enabling them to capture images and depict stories from the LA landscape. At the end of the project the students had the opportunity to exhibit their work in Leica’s flagship store and gallery in Los Angeles where they were able to discuss the program and inspirations behind their portfolios.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism