US Embassy, Nestle and State Children's Library launch photography program for Almaty and Uralsk orphans

On November 6, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, in close partnership with the Begalin State Children's Library and Nestle Nutrition, will conduct a series of hands-on workshops on the art of photography for Kazakhstani teenagers from three orphanages in Almaty and Uralsk.

The U.S. Embassy has invited two prominent U.S. photographers, Carolyn Drake and Andres Gonzalez, to lead the workshops in Almaty from November 6 to 13 and in Uralsk on November 15.  In Almaty, 50 teenagers from the Oblast Children's House #1, Boarding School #8, and the Center for Children with Developmental Difficulties will take part in the seminars.  In Uralsk, the Ashik Kogam NGO will host 30 orphaned teenagers at its November 15 photography workshop.  During workshops, the participants will learn the basics of digital photography, including composition, lighting, and digital photo editing.  Participants will take pictures of people and places in their communities. 

The project aims to encourage young people to develop their talents, provide them with practical tools to become active in society, and help them develop self-confidence.  The U.S. Embassy and Nestle Nutrition have provided funding to purchase 30 Canon Powershot digital cameras for the participants and their orphanages.  After the project is completed, each orphanage will retain the digital cameras to continue arts education and foster creative development.  By providing cameras to the orphanages, the participants will have the necessary equipment to further develop their photography skills.

In February 2010, the 50 to 60 best photographs resulting from the project will be chosen for public exhibition in Almaty.  The exhibition will include a complete catalogue, a press release of the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan reads.

Carolyn Drake has worked for such international media outlets as National Geographic, the New York Times, and Gourmet magazine.  Andres Gonzalez has worked for Culture + Travel magazine, Newsweek.

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