OFor the past 12 years, an extraordinary grassroots movement has been working alongside global sporting events such as the Football, Cricket and Rugby World Cups, the English Premier League and the Olympic Games.
Ethnically diverse youth from developing and developed countries have turned themselves into professional photographers to capture these sporting events within their own lives and communities.
These young people often come from families of extreme poverty, who are excluded from formal education, employment opportunities, shelter and basic food.
The catalyst was an initiative called the Wembley Foundation to Soweto, which offers photography training and on-the-job training and develops life skills that will enable these young people to move forward and make a positive contribution. The global charity strives to change the narrative of art accessibility and encourage big dreams for future artists.
The foundation forms collaborative partnerships with arts, sports and government institutions to provide a wide range of professional experiences as well as educational benefits to the wider community. Its mission is to create a global network of learning opportunities for young people to develop self-confidence, ambition and confidence through a passion for photography, regardless of medium or background. In LA, the project was realized in collaboration with From the Streets to the Set, Los Feliz Films, SEA and Homies Unidos.
Leica Camera donated camera equipment to the Wembley Foundation, which a group of eight students from South Central and East LA (pictured below) used during the project. Under the tutelage of internationally renowned photographer Jillian Edelstein and former students who passed on their knowledge, the group explored photography techniques in locations ranging from the Getty Center to the LA Galaxy Stadium to the electrifying atmosphere of a downtown boxing gym. them to capture images and illustrate stories from the LA landscape. At the end of the project, the students had the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Leica flagship store and gallery in Los Angeles, where they were able to discuss the program and the inspirations behind their portfolios.