Challenging Stereotypes: a photography exhibition from our young parents

In partnership with London Connected Learning Centre, our young parents have spent the past eight weeks taking part in a photography programme. Members of our weekly group for young parents and their children, which meets every Friday in Brockwell Park were invited to attend the extensive course, aiming to develop their skills in digital technology, whilst creating a project that holds meaning to them. The portraits were launched for public viewing on July 4th at Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, and will be open until July 15th.

The exhibition was based around the theme ‘Challenging Stereotypes’. This resonated with our young parents and allowed them to express their thoughts and feelings around the stigma of being a young parent. Cerri-May, one of the mothers who took part in the programme said “I have done this project because I want people to understand where I am coming from, what I have been through and what I have achieved.” Other parents used the exhibition to challenge stereotypes based around personal identity. “My faith has never oppressed me. I have never been forced to cover or dress in a particular way. I find that when I cover I feel more beautiful. I am a feminist”- Anisa

The programme has enabled the parents with digital technology skills, in photography and editing, whilst expressing their creative talents. Some of our young parents were so inspired by the programme that they are now thinking of pursuing higher education courses. Adam Razvi, a course tutor from CLC expressed his appreciation on the project. “I am extremely impressed with the resilience, determination and strength of the young people who took part in the course. They should be very proud of themselves. I hope this exhibition provides a platform for their voices to be heard and prompts policymakers and funders to take action and do more to support young parents from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Kathy Power, the Family Outreach Worker who has supported the young parents from the original establishment of the group said that to see people making such progress ‘has been so magic’, adding that the photography element of the course ‘can open up a part of you that hasn’t been tapped at school, at home or in the peer group.  Adam is really gifted at inspiring people’. 

At the opening night, family and friends of the young parents, who were awarded AQA certificates for their work, joined supporters of St. Michael’s to celebrate.  The portraits will be available for public viewing until July 15th. For more information on opening times, see here

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