A Titikaveka College Year 10 visual art student take pictures during environmental photography programme. (PHOTO: TIS) 20112061
Photography can make a big impact in many ways. Just one photo can expose environmental problems like nothing else, writes Kate McKessar of Te Ipukarea Society.
And in a flash, we have now completed the second module in our environmental photography programme running across six senior schools in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.
programme, which is funded by the US Embassy in NZ, seeks to teach our youth
about environmental issues facing our Ipukarea and give them the technical
skills to capture and communicate these messages through the power of
latest participants in this programme was a group of Year 10, visual art
students at Titikaveka College. After
having completed a 6-week programme, they shared their photos at an exhibition launch
on Thursday evening, generously hosted by LBV Cafe in Muri.
students have been fortunate to learn photographic and editing skills from
Julian Zeman of Turama Photography. Julian constantly challenged the students
to not just point and snap, but to instead approach their photography with a
critical eye and to ask themselves “what message am I trying to capture?”.
environmental education sessions with Alanna Smith from Te Ipukarea Society,
the students then put their new photographic skills into practice out in the
Rutaki beach, they learnt about climate change, coastal erosion, sediment run
off and nature-based solutions to seawalls. Te Maire Nui botanic gardens
offered insights into organic gardening and the Takitumu Conservation Area also
gave the students the chance to take some great shots of native biodiversity.
spoke at the launch about the exciting and fun local career opportunities with
it’s really important to share the overall idea that we can have our future
here at home. Also, I want to congratulate the students, the photos speak for
themselves. It’s not easy being a Year
10 and having your work peer reviewed by the community!”.
arts teacher, Linn-Magnhild Valderaune or ‘Miss Maggie’, also spoke at the
launch saying that “after just one day of learning to use the professional
cameras, I could see big stars in students’ eyes. They were inspired to run
around taking pictures, it was a great experience for us all”.
can make a big impact in many ways. Just one photo can expose environmental
problems like nothing else. It can allow people to experience things they may
not see themselves, and it can encourage people to care. For the photographer,
it is a moment to pause, focus and take notice of what is around them.
one of these young students, armed with a camera can have a huge impact in
getting their viewers to think about the issues facing our environment in the
Cook Islands. One student, Kiani Hand took a photo of rubbish left behind at
the Takitumu Conservation Area. The description read: “What type of people
would throw and leave their rubbish in our beautiful paradise? To me I think
that we have to be responsible for our environment because if no one will look
after it then who would?”.
Tauakume’s image depicted seaweed washed up on the shore: “The seaweed makes
the beach look ugly, but it is natural and not manmade rubbish, so it doesn’t
cause trouble to our lagoon and sea life. It does make you wonder if human
pollution has had something to do with the amount of seaweed in our lagoon.”
Katuke took a stunning photo of a dandy skink: “In the garden of Te Maire Nui
we found species we have never seen before. A lizard that started its journey
through the darkness and into the light. A dandy skink that can grow up to
20cm, endemic and thriving in the Cook Islands.”
The exhibition runs for two weeks so be sure to pop into LBV Cafe and enjoy some thought provoking art with your coffee! If you’re not in Rarotonga, you can view the photos on our webpage www.tiscookislands.org.