Mountain Village Photo Project
The Mountain Village Photo Project aimed to involve children and their families who lived in a remote Berber Community in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
The school teachers invited Gail to visit their two small schools, situated across a river from each other, high on the mountain sides. The children were both excited and a little wary about having their photograph taken, but were fascinated with her cameras . They then had to wait patiently for Gail to return with their photographs.
The children (and their families) loved receiving their photographs - a new experience for many of them. These were the first photographs many of them had ever seen. One little boy asked Gail to visit his home so that his younger disabled brother could see her camera and have his photograph taken too.
Children holding their first ever 'school photograph'
Gail Ward, photographer and founder of Responsible Photography and local teacher Hichem, together with one of Gail's partners in Morocco, Lahcen, who had grown up in the village, were behind the project. There was also help and translation from two mountain guides, one of whom developed a keen interest in photography and was mentored by Gail. He saved to buy his own digital SLR so he could build his own photographic archive. The children not only had fun with photography, but perhaps gained a new perspective of their home environment.
Homes in the village do not have running water, electricity or telephone: the only transport is by mule or on foot. Some families have TV's which are run via photo-electric panels. Water is collected from one of four village taps. The nearest medical help is a six kilometre walk away, as is the weekly market. Life is tough in this beautiful region of Morocco, but the community who live here are extremely welcoming and hospitable.
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