Kids With Cameras in The Big Easy


Dreams, dreams
My dreams will take me out of this place
My dreams are my wings
A dark angel in the hell of life
I’ll soar where I wanna go
Crash through the gray smoke clouds
I am only a fragment
Of what i’m meant to be
I am only a sting ray In a giant sea
My life is mystery
I am not satisfied
I’m not meant to be shackled in this place

I want out of this spot
This atmosphere of nothingness
I shine through the murky waters
Believe I will shine brighter
I am only a fragment
Of what I can be and will be

The image and poem above are by Angelica who is 14 and from the 9th Ward.  She is taking part in the New Orleans Kid Camera Project.  A friend of mine from my Montana days moved to New Orleans right after Katrinia to be one of the founding members of the program, and I have enjoyed watching the program grow and become sucessful. 

The programs mission statement page states the following:

The New Orleans Kid Camera Project was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans.  Through the use of photography, creative writing and mixed media, children from flooded neighborhoods explore their environment and express themselves, their stories and feelings with their friends.  This project provides a venue for growth and recovery.  By teaching the children tangible skills and exposing them to new means of expression, we hope to empower them to impact their lives and environment.

It is amazing how acts of nature such as storms, and human initiated trama such as war show us how much art, in its many forms can help heal both the young and old.  Why does it take loss of life and destruction to show the real value of creating art?  Programs such as the New Orleans Kid Camera Project need to be in every community, large and small before there is a need to address the impacts of natural and manmade destruction and trama.

I am thankful for the “Krewe” of the New Orleans project for having an important vision and having the energy and willingness to give it a go.  If there is not any creative outlet in your community for the young (or older) maybe you should think about setting something up.  Think about it.


~ by Phil Nesmith on September 6, 2007.

%d bloggers like this: