Teaching documentary photography to the youth of Kliptown, South Africa

The Kliptown Photo Project is dedicated to creating opportunities for the high school students of Kliptown, South Africa, one of the oldest informal settlements in Soweto, where residents live with up to four generations of their families in one or two room shacks without electricity, running water or public services.

In July 2014 we went to Kliptown and worked with one American photographer and three young African photographers to run a week long photo workshop for 15 students. We believe that learning photography is a way to foster creativity and connection. We wanted our students to show us the world through their eyes and gain skills, confidence, and agency through the process.

We provided digital cameras for each student and worked with them in the classroom, the community, and the computer lab, teaching them everything from lighting and composition to how to photograph strangers and upload their photos to facebook. The students were hard working, enthused, and hungry for knowledge; it was an exciting and powerful week for all participants.

An exhibition of the photographs taken by the students and their teachers took place a month after the workshop at Mashumi Art Projects in Soweto and was a great critical success. The students were able to see their work in the gallery, which was an empowering and thrilling experience for them. Photos are also available for sale on this website.  Proceeds from the exhibition and sale of photographs will go to the Kliptown Youth Program to further their educational and arts programs in the community.

Browse through our store -- you can purchase photos taken by our students and instructors to help sustain the project or you can simply make a donation to sustain the project. 

Ulwimi ululodwa alonelanga, which is a Zulu phrase meaning, "One language is never enough."

With help from friends, family and donors, we've accomplished so much to this point. We were able to spend a week in Kliptown, purchased cameras and related materials, fed our students, paid our South African photography instructors and covered production costs for the first exhibition of our students work, held at Mashumi Art Projects in Soweto on July 31, 2014. 

We are currently accepting donations for the second phase of our project.

Your contributions will help fun an on-going, monthly photography workshop in Kliptown, run by our African photographers, with our current and new students. Your contribution will also go towards the production cost of an American exhibition of the photos taken by our teachers and students, as well as educational materials and presentations related to the exhibit. 

Donate to the Kliptown Photo Project

For a donation of $200.00 (usd) or larger, we would like to send you a print of Heather Mull's photograph, 'Chicken for Dinner' taken during the week of our workshop. [Image below]. [Or you can shop in our store, where student work is available for purchase.]

What if we exceed our goal? That would be a nice problem to have. Any money above and beyond the goal will be turned over to the Kliptown Youth Program, so that they may continue their work in the community. 

'Chicken for Dinner', photograph by Heather Mull, Kliptown, South Africa

'Chicken for Dinner', photograph by Heather Mull, Kliptown, South Africa