Written by Niki Even on January 20 2005

Aqui Estoy


Outside the Lens in conjunction with The San Diego County Office of Education, Migrant Education Program Region IX has successfully presented "Aqui Estoy/Here I Am", a large scale exhibition of photographs, poetry, dance and spoken word celebrating the sentiments and stories of children of Southern California's migrant workers since 2003. During these workshops twelve hundred students from 23 different communities and 52 different school join together to participate in the "Aqui Estoy" project. During these Outside the Lens workshops, students learn how to use digital cameras and work with partners to capture creative self-portraits. To accompany the self-portraits, students are guided through a program to write original poetry. This poetry is used in a new way when these children learn how to add movement to their poetry. Participating youth were able to visit the Evoeke Dance Theatre and Culture Clash for lessons on movement. After these lessons, students learn about spoken word and performing in front of an audience. The large scale exhibitions at the end of the summer, hosted at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Voz Alta Project Gallery Space, gave these children an opportunity to share their work. The voices of these children could be heard throughout the space as the beauty of these children shown through their art. Outside the Lens was pleased when a few of the students from the summer were invited to speak at the CATESOL conference in Sacramento. This conference was created for teachers of English language learners. There was not a dry eye in the house when these youth shared their poetry and photography as a part of their weekend.

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