Emma Hope
Emma Hope

Sustainability Manager, Canon Europe

Young people at the heart of community activism in West Cumbria

At Canon we are passionate about inspiring the next generation of photographers, and we have a Young People Programme (aka YPP for those in the ‘know’) to span across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Through this programme, we want to help young photographers grow, gain valuable skills and get inspired – and we love to pair them with some of our inspiring Canon Ambassadors.

Student in photography workshop in West Cumbria

One of these events took place in July in West Cumbria, United Kingdom, where 400 students aged 10-18 were taught by international photographer and Canon ambassador, Clive Booth. Workshops focusing on issue raising, creativity, and photographic storytelling were organised by Canon together with Sellafield and the Ideas Foundation, a charity that believes ideas don’t come from one place or one type of person and aims to move creative industries in a more diverse direction.

Students in photography workshop in West Cumbria

Students took part from Millom School, Whitehaven Academy, Solway Community School, Silloth School and Beacon Hill Academy.

The students were challenged to create powerful visual campaigns bringing to life the issues captured within the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, giving particular focus to climate change and health. Clive, who’s clients include Louis Vuitton, Aston Martin and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, challenged the young photographers with a creative brief of ‘Plastics in the Ocean’.

"I have been absolutely staggered at the level of quality of work produced by the young people of Cumbria this week. Using Canon cameras, Adobe Spark and most of all their storytelling capabilities, they delivered world class pieces of visual communication!", Clive tweeted after the workshop.

Students in photography workshop in West Cumbria

Young people are often over-looked when it comes to talking about community problems but can give unique and powerful insights into social and environmental problems. These workshops help give young people a voice and work to raise awareness of, and to solve, real life issues that are impacting their own community through visual storytelling.

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