by Madiha Kark
MEXICO CITY — On a slightly chilly Sunday afternoon, inside the patio of Universidad de la Comunicación, about a 100 students waited to register for the 10th annual Foundry Photojournalism Workshop. Students from as far as Colombia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Argentina, the United States and all over Mexico mingled over warm coffees, laughter and stories.
What started as an idea to teach visual storytelling to emerging photojournalists has blossomed into a community of mentor, peers and lifelong friendships. The relationships that form through the workshop transcend barriers of culture, language, skills and background. “People become friends and they come year after year,” says Eric Beecroft, the founder of the workshop. “It is like a family.”
Instructors Maggie Steber, Ron Haviv and Andrea Bruce encouraged students to treat their stories and subjects with respect and be open to ideas. “Nobody owes you a story, you have to earn it,” said Steber.
In a place so visually and culturally alive, Mexico City is the perfect backdrop to find stories. Students discussed personal stories, proposed projects and received tips for better storytelling from the instructors. The evening instructor presentations and panel discussions were inspirational for the students, highlighting topics such as safety, intimacy and work ethics in visual storytelling.
Mexico City is a labyrinth of stories and visuals, waiting to be seen and told. The task to capture the stories and represent them with honesty and integrity is what Foundry is all about. This is where the story begins…
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