Having had a successful event at the Athlone School for the Blind to showcase the Never Seen blind photography project, we began advertising the online event that we would be holding in partnership with the South African Blind Youth Organisation (SABYO). To do this more effectively, we reached out to the regional leadership of SABYO across the country, and formed a task team together with four of their members, including Nurjawaan Rawoot, who was one of the project participants.
With their help we reached out to the membership of SABYO as well as posting on social media about the event and waited eagerly to see how many people would be interested in learning about blind photography. And we were totally startled when the RSVPs started to flood in – in total we had over 75 people who asked us to forward them the link to the online session. Which was great!
On the day we were supported by Shakila Maharaj, CEO of ShazaCin Accessible Media, as our Programme Director. Shakila smoothly and professionally led us through the event, engaging the listeners in the experiences of each of the project team.
Interestingly enough, those videos we had recorded as a back-up plan in case of poor connectivity weren’t needed – everyone was present and was able to share live with the attendees to give them a real sense of what the project had been like. And, from the Q&A session, it seemed like the audience was fascinated by the project and what the participants had achieved.
One of the aspects that was important to me was for us to understand the wider impact of the project in empowering the participants over and above teaching them how to take better photographs. So we asked Grant, Charlie and Nurjawaan to consider this in their presentations. But rather than me telling you what they each felt they had gained from the project, perhaps I should leave that for the post in which I share the video recordings that we made before the events. The ones we wanted to have in case of connectivity issues. I’ll share those in the next post.