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Visual Education and The Internet Camp: A Study of Underprivileged Children and Their Web Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  3 photographs with accompanying descriptions written by the children. “Through their images, we see the social world of the Appalachian poor from their point of view. Seeing common stereotypes from the inside humanizes what are otherwise one-dimensional social types” (from Harper, 1989, p. 92). Ewald’s motivation was manifold: she wanted to document her community, get to know the people, and teach the children photography basics, from camera composition to hands-on experience developing the pictures and various darkroom methods. She combined these motivations and had her students go out into the community and photograph the things that were important to them. “In leaving the children to choose for themselves what to photograph Ewald shares a belief with the New Zealand novelist and teacher Sylvia Ashton- Warner: that children can become eloquent in an unfamiliar medium if they are asked to tell us about what they know intimately and about what crucially affects them. ‘Children have two visions,’ Ashton-Warner writes, ‘the inner and the outer. Of the two the inner is the brighter’” (from the Afterward by Ben Lifson, in Ewald, 1985, p. 118). 1 Lifson continues, “The miracle of these photographs is that while the children map their inner worlds they are also our guides to the material culture and daily and occasional life of the hollers. They teach us how hogs are measured before slaughter, and show us that graves are decorated at Christmas, that at one funeral, at least, the open casket lay for viewing on the lawn outside the church, and that on solemn occasions men and women customarily and calmly hold their folded hands at their waists, so often is that gesture seen in the portraits” (in Ewald, 1985, p. 121). Also explained is the idea that the children have, through these images, created a “collective document,” a “communal history,” they are the “chroniclers and scribes” of the community. “There is no doubt that the children knew themselves to be making documents. At the beginning of her teaching, Ewald asked the children to photograph a day at school as an exercise in 1 Ashton-Warner, S. (1963). Teacher. New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 32.

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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photographs with accompanying descriptions written by the children. “Through their images, we
see the social world of the Appalachian poor from their point of view. Seeing common
stereotypes from the inside humanizes what are otherwise one-dimensional social types” (from
Harper, 1989, p. 92). Ewald’s motivation was manifold: she wanted to document her
community, get to know the people, and teach the children photography basics, from camera
composition to hands-on experience developing the pictures and various darkroom methods. She
combined these motivations and had her students go out into the community and photograph the
things that were important to them. “In leaving the children to choose for themselves what to
photograph Ewald shares a belief with the New Zealand novelist and teacher Sylvia Ashton-
Warner: that children can become eloquent in an unfamiliar medium if they are asked to tell us
about what they know intimately and about what crucially affects them. ‘Children have two
visions,’ Ashton-Warner writes, ‘the inner and the outer. Of the two the inner is the brighter’”
(from the Afterward by Ben Lifson, in Ewald, 1985, p. 118).
1
Lifson continues,
“The miracle of these photographs is that while the children map their inner
worlds they are also our guides to the material culture and daily and occasional
life of the hollers. They teach us how hogs are measured before slaughter, and
show us that graves are decorated at Christmas, that at one funeral, at least, the
open casket lay for viewing on the lawn outside the church, and that on solemn
occasions men and women customarily and calmly hold their folded hands at their
waists, so often is that gesture seen in the portraits” (in Ewald, 1985, p. 121).

Also explained is the idea that the children have, through these images, created a “collective
document,” a “communal history,” they are the “chroniclers and scribes” of the community.
“There is no doubt that the children knew themselves to be making documents. At the beginning
of her teaching, Ewald asked the children to photograph a day at school as an exercise in
1
Ashton-Warner, S. (1963). Teacher. New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 32.


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