Foundry instructor Maggie Steber reviewing portfolios with her students on first day of workshop, July 21, 2014.jpg


Our courses.

Our classes are designed to improve your photography and visual journalism skills no matter your skill level. This year, most courses combine classroom lessons and discussions with assignments or a project to get you out in the streets of Kigali.

Kristen Ashburn and Sarah Waiswa: Visual Journalism

There are many ways to tell a story. This class is designed to challenge and refine your storytelling and conceptualisation skills. It will help you to develop your unique visual language and strengthen practical conceptual know-how to build better stories and consider varied approaches.

Through class discussions and reviews, we will help you examine and develop your visual approach. Please bring a portfolio or project so that we can review it and guide you on your photographic journey.

There will also be an opportunity to create a photo story within Kigali supported by editing and sequencing exercises designed to gain a new perspective on your work.

Krisanne Johnson: Engaged Storytelling

This class is dedicated to developing your voice and vision as a storyteller, especially in long-term work. We will look closely at engagement, access and intimacy, as well as methods for developing personal projects. Please bring portfolios or works in progress to review. Through class discussion, daily shoots and critiques, we will inspire one another to push ourselves and enhance our visual language. It is recommended each participant arrives with a researched idea or two for your week-long shoot.

Daniel Schwartz: On One’s Own–Authorship and Bookmaking

This workshop emphasizes authorship and the way in which photography expresses individual experiences, ideas and notions. "On one's own” can mean “alone” or “unaided”, “forlorn” but also “independent.'“ It can define an achievement as based on one's own authority, behalf, cost, initiative, responsibility or terms, or a project pursued on one’s own ground, i.e. in a familiar place, situation or terrain. 

Such emotions and conditions are the daily life of a photographer as she or he struggles in the face of obstacles or the structural constraints of a volatile media industry. 

In moments of seeming abandonment, mental exhaustion or apparent hardship, the idea of a book can promise an anchor. As an objective, it forces you to look at your work from a critical distance and to submit it to others' eyes. Whilst doing this, the secret, however, is to gain an outside perspective onto one's own work. This workshop will try to unlock this secret while it makes you aware of the importance to marry authorship and advice from others with experience in making books.

Participants are expected to bring existing bodies of work or work in progress, photocopies or prints of the images considered for a book, flat-plan sketches and drafts of book dummies or maquettes (a requirement), graphic materials like (cardboard, glue, ruler, etc.). During the workshop you will spend time moving pictures around on cardboard spreads on the desk and floor rather than by scrolling through InDesign files, and by studying and discussing selected books and exhibition catalogues.

Edward Echwalu

Beyond my general goals as a mentor, the workshop will commence with students setting their own workshop objectives for the week which will drive the direction of the training. In this workshop, beyond the introductory session, I will focus my lessons on one-on-one interactions, depending on the level of technical expertise of the students.

Edward’s objective is to extract what or who inspires each student, and how they can raise their own voices through the stories they tell. Often, the very first step of simply finding a story is the biggest stumbling block to many beginners. I am enthusiastic to work with photographers who aren’t afraid to make mistakes in their stories and pictures, photographers who are passionate to create something out of nothing.

Each student will be required to come up with a story, under the guidance of Edward, which will culminate in a photo essay at the end of the workshop. Every day, students will be expected to go out and take pictures, and review their work with Edward one-on-one the following morning or at another agreed time.

Throughout the workshop, the students will learn how to conduct in-depth research before embarking on a project, improve their methodology, navigate newsrooms, learn the basic aspects of composition, editing stories and finally, critiquing their own stories/pictures. The conclusion of the course will be a presentation by each student of the story they developed throughout the week.

Nichole Sobecki: Telling Stories

Telling stories is the best way to teach, persuade, and even understand ourselves. In this hands-on workshop, Nichole Sobecki will guide you through the steps of research, building relationships, ethical issues, and varied visual approaches, through class discussions, shooting in the field, and critiques of work. Students should bring portfolios or bodies of work in progress, as well as 2-3 ideas for a story that will be developed and shot during the workshop. Participants will leave with fresh work, ideas for personal and career growth, and the opportunity to share and learn from one another.


Please check this link for the most up to date schedule of Foundry 2019.

Please note that our instructors and presenters are subject to change.