In April, as part of the Design and Technology and Art course, students of Year 7, 8 and 9 had an opportunity to see a documentary photography exhibition, promoted by the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade and partly sponsored by the Spanish Embassy in Belgrade.
Prior to seeing the exhibition, students enjoyed two lectures and a small workshop, held by their history teacher and the author of the exhibition. Our students were able to learn that history and art are inevitably intertwined and can develop simultaneously while at the same time define each other from a particular time distance. In this case, in particular, the exhibition communicates the story of five biggest world religions coexisting together and focuses on tolerance and acceptance of differences in general. Students were intrigued to hear about photographer’s lifestyle, obstacles he encountered, pleasures the experience brought as well as uncommon situations. During the entire process, they became aware of the immense exploration of literature, history, geography, etc. an art project is based upon, as well as to what extent richness of many differences can be beneficial and positive.
We continued this conversation at the exhibition. Apart from the inevitable visual experience, we extended the discussion to a talk on photography, more precisely documentary photography. Students learned that this photography genre allows no manipulation, how important composition is and connection between the light and atmosphere, as well as how capturing emotions is essential. Moreover, not only did we talk about new professions such as curators and photography readers, but also together, we managed to read and give individual opinions for each separate image presented at the exhibition.
Finally, at the end of our short journey through history, art and photography, Design and Technology and Photography the teacher presented an instant, Polaroid, camera, which was met with excitement as the students transformed from being passive spectators to creators. Divided into pairs, students demonstrated newly gained knowledge by taking Polaroid portraits of each other’s and having loads of fun along the way.