Thanks to increasingly inexpensive and high-quality cameras on cell phones and other mobile devices, photography use has increased dramatically over the last decade, particularly among teens and young adults. Coupled with the rise of social media, young people are taking and sharing more photographs than ever. Modern debates over the tyranny of images, voyeurism, and the cultural impact of mass-mediated images have taken on new urgency. At the same time, the potential to engage communities through the use of photography would seem to be greater than ever. The creative use and dissemination of photographs has energized student activism against genocide, the forced recruitment of child soldiers, and the deportation of immigrant youth who have grown up in the United States. At the same time, project-oriented pedagogical models that include a strong visual component have proved incredibly successful, particularly for socially disadvantaged students. The challenge is to cultivate visual literacy – a critical awareness and understanding of visual media that enhances ethical and intellectual engagement with a subject, rather drowning it out in a race for instant gratification. Visual media tend to be more democratic than text and spoken-word media through which we generally discuss immigration policy. While different individuals bring their own social, cultural, and personal perspectives to bear in reading the same visual image, images have lower barriers to participation. They don’t tend to require the prior knowledge, specialized vocabulary, or cultural cues necessary to make sense of most policy discussions, and images they don’t even require that everyone speaks the same language or dialect. Images can inspire stronger affective connections among families, friends and communities, making it possible for others to learn from and explore each other’s lives. They tend to stir empathy more immediately than other media. This assignment asks you to use your camera, or simply your eyes, to explore how we can cultivate empathy to reframe the impact of conflict and violence on the San Diego -Tijuana region. The subject matter, style, approach, etc. are entirely up to you. Think. Be creative. Tips: You can take the component pictures with your camera, or take them off the internet, a book, etc. – the premium is on what the images communicate and your curatorial skills, not your photography skills. The order of images matters – this is a storytelling endeavor, but with captioned pictures rather than prose paragraphs. The theme is broad – you don’t have to focus on deported veterans (although you may). Both narrow and wide historical and thematic frames can work well, the pint is the quality of the story you tell. Please follow the technical guidelines below to ensure compatibility and comparability with your colleagues. Technicals Theme: Reframing the impact of conflict and violence on the SD-Tijuana region (purposefully broad!) Format: MS PowerPoint with 10 captioned images Content and length: 10 images on slides with captions (142 characters max per caption).


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