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Building Visual Literacy in the Age of Selfies: A Workshop for Educators with Everyday Africa

Event Date:

September 23, 2017 | 10:00 AM EDT TO 2:30 PM EDT


Pulitzer Center
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20036

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The Pulitzer Center is proud to partner with the Everyday Africa initiative and its founders, and...

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Multiple Authors
Workshop with Everyday Africa
Images from Everyday Africa, an Instagram project founded by Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill.

How do the images that students see impact their perceptions of the world? How accurately do these images represent the daily lives of global communities? How can students apply visual literacy, photography and journalism skills to create projects that challenge media representation of their own communities?

Pulitzer Center invites K-12 educators to join us on Saturday, September 23 from 10:00 AM -2:30 PM for an interactive workshop that explores these questions with journalists Austin Merrill and Peter DiCampo, founders of the viral social media phenomenon Everyday Africa.

Participants will work with Merrill, DiCampo and Pulitzer Center staff to…

  1. Examine ways that Everyday Africa has been used in dozens of classrooms throughout the U.S. and Nigeria to introduce visual literacy skills to students.
  2. Explore photography, curation, debate and writing exercises that were developed as part of Everyday DC, a cornerstone unit designed by Pulitzer Center and the visual arts department at DC Public Schools (DCPS).
  3. Create plans for connecting Everyday Africa, photojournalism skills and elements of the Everyday DC unit to their curricula.

Attendees will earn 4.5 professional learning units by completing the workshop. The cost of the workshop is $10.00, which will be used to cover lunch and snack. Email [email protected] to apply for a full scholarship to this session.

Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, is an attempt to redirect focus toward a more accurate understanding of what the majority of Africans experience on a day-to-day basis: a normal life. In a 2017 blog post, philanthropist Bill Gates wrote, "Everyday Africa is one of Melinda and my favorite Instagram profiles. It shows what the vast, culturally diverse continent of Africa is like beyond the lazy stereotypes."

The Pulitzer Center and the Everyday Africa team are working hard to explore the project's tremendous education potential in the District of Columbia. What began in 2014 as a series of four "Everyday Africa-Everyday D.C." photography workshops with fifth and sixth-graders from the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School in northeast D.C. ultimately led in the 2016-2017 school year to a multi-week photojournalism unit designed by the visual arts department at DC Public Schools (DCPS), DCPS visual arts educators and the Pulitzer Center. This project is now funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The culminating project for 2017: "Everyday DC," a month-long photography exhibition at the Southwest Arts Club that grew out of the classroom workshops, journalist visits and students' explorations of their communities. The exhibition showed the everyday experiences of city youth by visualizing daily life in Washington, D.C., through the eyes of over 100 sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students from eight DC public middle schools that represent all four quadrants of the city.

Learn more:

See the results of our work with students in the 2016-2017 academic year: "Everyday DC," a month-long photography exhibition at the Southwest Arts Club.