‘LCC through the pinhole’

Students learn pinhole camera photography from visiting friends from Indonesia

An exhibition of photographs taken using pinhole cameras by the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts students of La Consolacion College Bacolod is currently on display. The exhibits are a product of the Pinhole Camera Photography Workshop facilitated by visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Soleh (SDAAS) in Bekasi, Indonesia.

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The visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Sholeh (SDAAS) gave a workshop on pinhole camera photography.  They began with giving the participants coming from the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts programs theories on how photography works and how to create a pinhole camera using recycled materials.

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David Meier introduces the visiting students from Indonesia, facilitators and resource persons of the Pinhole Camera Workshop.
Pinhole camera photography is increasingly gaining popularity. Although the conventional technology has long been existent, it is not something people are very familiar with particularly among the younger generations. In countries like Indonesia, pinhole camera photography has been reintroduced in teaching science, art or simply a hobby.   The camera easily captures interest and curiosity because of its ability to take artistic photos using conventional methods and ordinary materials.

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SDAAS is a special school for kindergarten and elementary children coming from poor economic backgrounds. The school was founded by Agustian and offered programs that go beyond the minimum requirement of the Government of Indonesia. For more than a decade, the school survives from volunteerism and support from other organbizations. Agustian’s son, Sultan Aun karbela now operates the school.
The workshop, which was held on August 3, 2016, gave the participants valuable knowledge about historical, aesthetic and technical aspects of this trend said Lj Libunao, a Grade 11 Arts & Design student.  About 170 participants took part in the workshop.

The visiting students guided the participants in constructing their own pinhole cameras.  The students recycled used cigarette and soda cans to form the body of the camera.  A portion was cut from the body to give way for the “lens” and the aperture.  Pinhole photography is non-lens photography. Lens is replaced by a small hole which light gets through and a picture arises in a camera. Students sprayed the interior of the can with a matte black paint to make sure that nothing reflects the light from the inside.  They then placed the negative paper and started shooting, one photo for each paper, which only took about 30 seconds to one minute. The visiting students also taught the participants the conventional photo processing in a portable darkroom and at LCC’s photo processing demonstration room.

 

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Fine Arts students make the pinhole camera from scratch. In this picture, the youngest of the visiting Indonesians, guides them through the process. Agil does not speak English so guidance was done through non-verbal communication. Amazingly, it took only 10 minutes for the students to prepare the “lens” of the Pinhole Camera.
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The following day, photos were organized into an exhibit at the 2nd floor foyer fronting the Integrated School Academic Council Office.

David Meier, a German volunteer who moderated the workshop said that the visiting Indonesians did a good job transferring the technology to the Filipino participants considering the cultural barriers and communication issues.  He added that the practical experience the students gained have led them to discover new interests and showed them how photography works in its easiest form.

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Tiara Ersha Octari addresses a question from the participants.
SDAAS is a special kindergarten and elementary school in Indonesia for the less privileged but deserving students.  The pinhole camera photography is among the co-curricular programs the school has taught the children.  It is supported by KMF Kalacitra and Artha Graha Peduli.

Ten Indonesians were part of the visiting team.  They are Nur Laila, Mutiara Kasih, Pangeran Agil Karbela, Ridwan, Ardi Nata, Nugraha, Tiara Ersha Octari, Sultan Aun Karbela, Tubagus Muhammad Rafi Rizki Dyadra and the Founder of SDAAS, Agustian.

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participants shoot using their pinhole camera.
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A picture of LCC campus through the pinhole.
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Indonesian-Filipino Youth: Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Acceptance

Mobility and interaction are among the key social characteristics of our world today. Diverse environments have become the new normal. Rapidly advancing technologies have enhanced our capability to go beyond the borders of our country and expanded our horizons to relating with people from different nations, cultures, religions and lifestyles. Maintaining peace and order has become a major concern as the mindsets of peoples are not easily adapted to the increasingly global social environment, thus the need to promote tolerance.

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LCCB President Sr. Gavina F. Barrera, OSA and Administrative Officer for Academics Sr. Maria A. Garcia, OSA welcome the visiting students from Indonesia

Just recently, news about terrorism has taken over our prime time . The spate of killings by what was believed to be due to the rise of radical extremism proliferated by an Islam fundamentalist militant group called the Islamic State or ISIS, through its extensive and effective use of propaganda.

Despite public criticism and rejection even by fellow Muslim religious groups and societies in the world, ISIS continues to wage its religious war. Because of this, Muslims around the world are generalized and are unfairly being associated to terrorism making them subject to harassment and discrimination especially in places where they are a cultural minority.

In the US for example, a presidential candidate has pledged to ban Muslims from entering the country in the aftermaths of San Bernardino and Orlando shooting incidents, justifying that America has consistently been “under attack from people who believe only in Jihad”. In Europe especially in Britain, there was a “wave of discrimination” a day after their people have voted for the separation of Britain from the European Union spurred by public anger over terrorism and loose immigration policies as among their major issues.

Against this global backdrop, Indonesian and Filipino students are taking steps to promote intercultural understanding and tolerance. An interfaith exchange was hosted by La Consolacion College Bacolod on August 2, 2016. Although Islam is also one of the major religions in the Philippines, there is little understanding of their culture especially in Bacolod City where their population is very small.

In one very rare occasion at LCC, the visiting Muslim students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Sholeh (SDAAS) participated in a Catholic mass as a gesture of openness and respect as they begin their cultural exchange program. The visiting students were accommodated by a class of Senior High School students who likewise gave them the opportunity to share something about their faith and culture. The Indonesians led a Muslim prayer and sung a few songs from Koran.

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Indonesian-Muslims from Bekasi hear the Catholic mass at La Consolacion College Bacolod as part of the three-day cultural exchange visit.

David Meier, a German volunteer of AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines and one of the facilitators of the cultural exchange visit, gave his account on the activity. He said that the activity was an opportunity for him to have a glimpse at two different Asian faiths and culture. He added that it was a great chance to clarify misconceptions about the two religions and identify areas where both share similarities.

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AFS Volunteer David Meier from Germany gives the rationale of the interfaith exchange

The participants engaged in a meaningful interaction which was moderated by Helen Claire Manatad, mentor. Students were amazed to discover many similarities as the belief on the existence of heaven, earth and angels to the cultural traditions as fasting and abstinence.

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The overall mood was friendly and genial. Some visiting students gave excerpts from the holy Koran to the astonishment of the Filipino students who have heard only for the first time. Although the Philippines and Indonesia are practically neighbors, their peoples are not as familiar with each other. The long eras of colonization has westernized the Philippines and culturally distanced it from the other neighboring countries in Asia. But the cultural exchange visit was one that was really enjoyed and appreciated by the Filipino students. They too are hoping that one day, they could travel and immerse with their friendly Asian neighbors.

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In a world where fundamentalism continues to fuel divisiveness, intolerance and hate, there is a great need to promote intercultural understanding and acceptance, said Rodjhun Navarro, head of the Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages. The interfaith exchange has been one that helped students realize some of the ill-informed misconceptions about Islam and the Muslim culture. They have learned from the international visitors and developed mutual respect and understanding for new cultures, he added.

LCC continually strives to provide opportunities for students to develop cultural sensitivity and opens its doors for cultural and academic exchange. Currently, there are five exchange students from Germany, Italy, Japan and the US and there are more than 50 students of LCC Bacolod currently having their international on-the-job training in countries like Thailand and USA.