The girl project is a nifty little concept thought up by New York based photographer Kate Engelbrecht. The way it works is Engelbrecht sends out disposable cameras to teenage girls across America. The girls are encouraged to take photos of a variety of things, their interests, people they love and what's important to them at this stage of their life!
The goal is to collect photos from 5,000 girls of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds and then organize the work into a book and a traveling exhibition. It is a fresh look at what teenage girls are actually up to these day, what influences them, what they do for fun! Technology, social media and mass marketing are often to blame for forcing kids to grow up too fast! I was a child in every sense of the word until i hit my teens, id climb trees with my brother, go fishing with my dad and thought dresses were a hindrance on my play time in the backyard. These days it seems kids as young as 8 and 9 are dressing and acting like the cast of gossip girl.
Its this movement of 8 going on 18 that Engelbrecht finds so interesting "As adults we create an image of who teenage girls are, and we sell that back to them—telling them who they are,” Engelbrecht says, “None of it is coming from the girls themselves—as a result the truth gets lost.” she goes on to say “To not understand adolescence is a huge mistake,” she says. “It affects our perception on them as well as their own opinions on themselves. The girls feel that they either have to live up to these images or combat them.”
I know from my own disposable camera project it cant be easy getting a project like this going. From the 400 cameras she has sent out thus far only 100 have been returned, but i am sure she'll get there! Tweens and teens are largely a demographic that’s been catered to, but rarely heard from and i for one am looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
To find out more about The Girl Project click here... as you can see from the cross section of photos above its well worth a look!