Under the concept of Inclusive Inclusion, we started the very first photography class in the Dominican Republic for a mixed group of deaf and hearing young people in collaboration with Instituto de Ayuda al Sordo Santa Rosa and Iglesia de Convertidos a Cristo a los Sordos. We also had the privilege to run in the country the First Photo Exhibition by deaf and hearing people.
During the classes, we placed a particular emphasis on making our best to save our planet and being supportive of causes seeking to improve children's lives in the country. Therefore, we did our bit and join forces to support the initiative Tapitas x Quimio, a campaign that seeks to collect a total of 4.5 million plastic caps to be sold to recycling centers, and with the money raised, afford the treatments of children with cancer.
During the exhibition, the bottle caps collected by our students were delivered to FACCI, Fundación Amigos Contra el Cáncer Infantil (Friends Against Childhood Cancer Foundation), the organization that runs the campaign in the Dominican Republic.
In March 2020, we organized the First International Conference Photography for Deaf and Hearing people in the country.
On that occasion, we invited Gustavo Pomar as speaker to encourage the students to find the path of creativity as a sure way to produce high quality and outstanding photographs.
Pomar is an Argentine photographer travelling worlwide giving classes, workshops and conferences about creative lighting.
The INICIOS' experience
The classes help us know much more about deaf culture. It's a good time to promote comradeship and understanding among the deaf and hearing students.
CREATING EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
While we continue the photography education of our students from INICIOS, the first class of deaf and hearing photographers, we also hire some of them to work as assistants. Besides speeding up their learning, the experience will also help them be aware of the management of the professional photography business. Those who want to start their photographic path will be receiving constant coaching until they feel confident to stand on their own feet.
Twice a year, we will proceed to employees' turnover so that many of our students may be able to have a chance to live the photography business experience.
To make their works known by everyone, we're building up a large deaf and hearing photographers community where they can connect, showcase their works, but also work on common projects. A website connected to the social networks will be dedicated to photographers in the Dominican Republic, which may lead us to the Dominican Association of Deaf Photographers.
Even though we're acting locally, we have global vision and goals to reach. We have already made contact with the Mexican Association of Deaf Photographers. Our dream is to gather all the deaf photographers in the same place: the Global Deaf Photographers.
Lisandra is a young deaf girl who studied photography with us. Because of her deep interest and passion for the art, we've decided to hire her as one of our team members.
Lisandra spends hours and hours learning about lighting and editing techiniques.
She works hard to become the most famous deaf photographer working in the Dominican Republic.