Ancla2 is an educational cooperative devoted to teaching photography, technology, and media skills to children from a wide variety of communities in Venezuela. According to Ancla2, when children encounter images through photography, it is a way to discover their inner self and to value their physical and interior spaces. Thanks to Ancla2, many children from small and poor communities in Venezuela have discovered a new way to see and appreciate their own surroundings, and at the same time, have learned new life skills that will help them in many other areas.
The photography workshops have resulted in wonderful galleries made by children, and now these works can also be seen by many more because the children also maintain blogs that show life in their communities. These blogs written by children 9-15 years old, such as this blog from the community of La Mucuy in Mérida provide “journalistic visions” straight from the children themselves.
El Guarataro Preguntón [es] and Reporteros del 23 [es] are two examples of these blogs. They are made by children living in two of the most poor and violent neighborhoods that surround the city of Caracas. Their main goal is to show daily life in both communities and how there is a lot more than often talked about violence inside the community.
Here is an example of one of the last posts in Reporteros del 23:
Benjamin estaba tomando fotografías en la subida que lleva al sector llamado “La Planada”. Una señoa en la puerta de su casa no dejaba de mirarlo, curiosa e integrada. El se percato y con gran gesto de agrado comenzó a mostrarle las fotografías que había tomado.
Benjamin was taking pictures on his way up to “La Planada”. A woman standing inside the doorway of her house couldn't stop curiously looking at him. He noticed it and happily showed his pictures to her.
As words of presentation, El Guarataro Preguntón [es] describes themselves:
Nosotros nacimos y vivimos en El Guarataro, el barrio más famoso de Caracas y de toda Venezuela. Es un barrio lleno de vida y de sueños, que también sufre por la violencia y por los problemas que nunca faltan. El Guarataro es famoso por algo muy bueno: aquí nació el poeta Aquiles Nazoa. Si en El Guarataro todo fuera como Aquiles Nazoa escribía y quería, viviríamos de maravilla. Eso no ha sido posible, pero nosotros hemos creado un periódico que se llama El Guarataro Preguntón, después de hacer un taller de fotografía y redacción con la Cooperativa Ancla 2 (con los que aprendimos a tomar) fotografias y a elaborar un periódico, que le hablará al país de cómo somos, de cómo vivimos, de qué cosas queremos cambiar y cada vez que nos lean y nos vean, van a tener que respondernos porque vamos a preguntar de todo.
We were born and live in El Guarataro, the most famous slum in Caracas and in all of Venezuela. This is a community full of dreams and life that also suffers from the violence and the problems that never go away. El Guarataro is famous for something very good: Aquiles Nazoa was born here. If everything in El Guarataro was like how it was in Nazoa's poetry, everything would be wonderful, but that hasn't been possible. Nevertheless, we have created a newspaper called El Guarataro Preguntón, after participating in workshops with Ancla2 (where we learned) to take pictures and make a newspaper that will tell the country about how we are and how we live, what are the things that we want to change and everytime they see us and read us they will have to answer because we will ask about everything.
In this documentary called “Voices” (video in .mov format), part of the work with the children of Mérida is seen.
All photos used with permission from Ancla2.