KINGSMEAD EYES: black children documented their world (UK)

Spotted on Africa is a country
Kingsmead Eyes is the result of a unique collaboration between photographer Gideon Mendel and 28 pupils from Kingsmead School in 
Hackney. The children documented their world over six months, photographing their friends, families, community and school to create an accomplished and vibrant body of work. At the same time, Mendel, working in parallel to the children made portraits of every child in the school as well as also documenting the life of the area.

This video installation is part of the Kingsmead Eyes exhibition on display at the V&A Museum of Childhood from 7 November 2009 till 7 February 2010.

The Kingsmead Estate, home to many of the pupils, is recognised as among the highest 4% for deprivation in the UK. The estate has suffered from a negative reputation in the past but conditions have improved in recent years and regeneration initiatives have encouraged a stronger sense of community. The school has played a major role in this turnaround, striving to achieve the highest standards with academic achievement above the national average – all the more impressive considering that 85% of pupils speak English as a second language. The success and creativity of the school has long been a source of local pride. For this project the ten year-old pupils were trained in the use of digital cameras in a series of workshops led by photographer, Crispin Hughes.

Kingsmead Eyes

A very interesting view in the lives of young black European children.

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