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."

7:00 PM19:00

Art Opening -- Mashumi Art Projects -- 6979 Vilakazi Street, Soweto 1804, So. Africa

The first opening of the work created by the Kliptown Photo Project Students and Photography Instructors opens at Mashumi Art Projects on Thursday, July 31st at 7:00. Meet Zanele Mashumi, director and curator of Mashumi Art Projects. Listen to guest speakers, Thulani Madondo, founder the the Kliptown Youth Program, as well as Tila Nomvula Mathizerd, one of our photography instructors on the project.

Please come and see the incredible photos that our team made. Prints of the photographs exhibited are for sale, with proceeds funding the amazing work done by our partners, the Kliptown Youth Program

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6:00 PM18:00


Kliptown Photo Party on Friday, May 30th at Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill for drinks, South African music and Chef Mo's take on traditional South African cuisine. Party starts at 6:00. Come after work. Hijack a friend and bring them along.

Talk to us about the project. Hang out and have fun at the best new tavern in the 'Burgh. Donate$10 or more and get a free beer!

If you can't come, spread the word. All are welcome and we are thrilled to be partnering with Independent Brewing for this event.

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