As part of its initiative “Youthful perspective”, 100 students joined Fatima bint Hazza Cultural Foundation coming from schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Al Ain and Kalbaa on Friday 26 October to join photographer Steve Macleod to learn Camerassless photography in Al Wathba Reserve.
The choice of Al Wathba natural reserve- established by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan- came naturally for the students to spend time in the UAE nature that they have never seen this way before, and to walk in the footsteps of Sheikh Zayed to learn about the past, and learn values related to love of the homeland, preserving the environment, promoting teamwork, taking pride in one’s heritage to be able to move forward and flourish.
The workshop scoped photograms technique where students soaked paper and fabric in chemicals, then placed in on the ground and quickly placed different objects including personal belongings, placing hands and feet as the combination became very light sensitive. They held their positions and objects in places in direct sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes so that everything was copied on the underlying paper/fabric. When the time was up, students rushed into the darkroom that the foundation set in the middle of the nature to develop the pictures, having the sun play the role of the camera. Students copied Year of Zayed logo using photograms technique expressing their gratitude for the country Sheikh Zayed built on safety, tolerance and cultural, intellectual and scientific development.
Maysoon Barber, executive director to the foundation explained: “Fatima bint Hazza Cultural Foundation provides a platform for the youth away from technology and life distractions, to express, interact and excel. Fatima bint Hazza Cultiural Foundation responds to a pressing need for the youth, and continues to offer initiatives that are non-traditional and outside the box always. We could have organized regular photography workshops, but what’s new about that? The foundation constructed the dark room to process films in the desert! Who does that? I truly believe this initiative is a true representation for creativity, innovation and a motivation for the youth to engage and push away from comfort zones”.
Steve Macleod, professor in photography, artist, director and trustee at Queen Elizabeth scholarship Trust said: “It’s a great honor for me to collaborate with Fatima bint Hazza Cultural Foundation that is keen to utilize the youth energy to integrate them in the cultural process. The importance of what students learnt today lies in the fact that they feel now empowered to create a camera anywhere because the idea is simply about capturing the light and the duration of exposure”.
This initiative (Youthful Perspective) is part of the foundation’s Big Canvas which incorporates providing outscaled surfaces for students in engage with, be in painting, photography, etc.
Parents, academics, schools hailed the initiatives especially after the big success the Mother of the National mural received, thanks to the foundation’s efforts.