This GRTHM website supported GRTHM between 2008 and 2011. It is no longer maintained and is hosted by the National Association of Teachers of Travellers and Other Professionals (NATT+) for interest only. Some out-of-date has been removed, but be aware that remaining pages may reference old events.

Akademia Pstryk

Akademia Pstryk is an art group using pinhole photography as a means of social change through empowering communities. They run workshops where participants prepare photographic cameras from everyday objects and are encouraged to follow their independent creativity.

In the midst of the credit crunch, a group of 7 to 14 year old Roma in East London are showing you don’t need expensive digital cameras to produce professional photographs.

Working with The Children’s Society and Akademia Pstryk, this group of talented young people are using pinhole photography to produce a picture book that will teach people about their culture. 1,500 copies of the book “Romano Bumburumbum” will be given away at public events, and it will also be available to download online.

Find out how the young people did it at:

bumburumbum.blogspot.com

Find out more about Akademian Pstryk:

http://www.akademiapstryk.pl

Background

An old shoe box or even a soft drink can seem to be useless items but they can be used to build a simple pinhole camera. Pinhole photography is lensless photography. A tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole; an image is formed in the camera. Basically a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper at the other. Pinhole images are softer than pictures made with a lens. The images have nearly infinite depth-of-field. Wide angle images remain absolutely rectilinear.

Pinhole photography is great for kids. Akademia Pstryk uses it especially while working with children who are at high risk of different social problems. Akademia Pstryk was created by photographer Marta Kotlarska and her friends, who wanted to help children living in Centre for Homeless People Markot Bajka. They organized workshops for 46 children there. Two years after they started to work with children living in poorest district of Warsaw city (mainly Praga). In January 2006 11 children aged 7 â 15 created photographs and illustrations to the Warsaw legend "Wars and Sawa.". Local community supervisors from Akademia Pstryk organized exhibitions of these pictures in Nizio Gallery and in public spaces like Central Railway Station and in Warsaw Metro. Pictures were also shown on Billboard stands. In the summer 2006 children from Warsaw's Praga district, aided by local community supervisors from Akademia Pstryk, held workshops to teach other children how to take pictures with the once-popular camera obscura. Young fans of this simple yet inspiring method of photography showed Warsaw residents how to take pictures with this pinhole camera. Pictures from workshops were sold on auction on internet â money was used for teaching English to children from Praga district.

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