Bhutanese Women Discover the Art of Photography
A photographer since high school, Jamara Knight’s interest in engaging refugees through photography began with her participation in college with a Vietnamese refugee children’s volunteer-based photography project. After receiving a grant last year to develop and lead her own project, Jamara, a preschool teacher, approached the IRC in Tucson with the idea to offer a photography class for women refugees, provide them with cameras and teach them how to use them.
Photo Credit: Emily Coyle/IRC
Over the past few months, Jamara spent her Tuesday and Thursday evenings getting to know eight Bhutanese refugee women and teaching her photo classes with the help of a Nepali translator. The experience has given Jamara an opportunity to share her passion and talents while empowering refugee women to tell their stories through the lens.
“This class has been an incredible learning experience for me as well while giving women an opportunity to build their confidence through photography,” Jamara said. “With their own cameras, the women have come to realize that they are the artist and through photography, they get to give their experiences and perspective a voice.”
The last class was a chance for Jamara to see the impact she’s had on the refugee women. “They gave me gifts – beautiful bracelets and scarves,” said Jamara. “I was touched by how much they’ve opened up to me – and how much fun we all had.”