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Unicef and Sony in Japan to support disaster relief photography project

Sony and Unicef's 'EYE SEE' project comes to Japan this November, supporting the children who have suffered from the Tohoku earthquake through the means of photography.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

Throughout November, 'EYE SEE' workshops will be held in Japan, with a three-day workshop taking place in Ishinomaki this coming weekend, and in Fukushima at the end of the month.

The 'EYE SEE' project is to provide children the opportunity to express themselves through photography, with the hopes of giving them a medium to voice their opinions and feelings about the world around them.

The project has been running since 2006, when Sony collaborated with Unicef to build the programme, and has previously had great success in South Africa, Rwanda and Pakistan.

Children are supplied with Cyber-Shot cameras and given workshops with photographer Giacomo Pirozzi to teach them how to use the camera as a tool to show others life as they see it.

The project is a platform for children to begin to fix the damage of poverty, disaster and inequality by providing them with a unique voice to speak to people in their own countries as well as internationally.

Perhaps the reason why the project works is because photography is a universal medium that doesn't need the children to be able to read or write, and overcomes the boundaries of language. In this case, a picture really does say a thousand words.

Whilst it is unlikely that most in Japan will be a stranger to a camera, Japanese values are often quite subdued and private about emotional events. This opportunity is given to express themselves in a different way will be very eye-opening for a worldwide audience.

Unicef has already provided incredible support for the victims of the disaster, giving funds and on the ground assistance to families affected including education, sanitation and psycho-social assistance. The photographs and results of the workshops will be available to the public after November.

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