Andrzej Bukowski; “making photographs is one of the things which gives me pleasure in everyday life and from a technical point of view, I know how to do it well. But to teach and coordinate kids to make photographs – that is something completely different. But I can gladly say that I’ve achieved that. Of course, I did it with a lot of help from other people, invested lots of time and sometimes lost patience.”
After meeting with the children, Andrzej started with constructing a Camera Obscura. It is easily made from any sort of box, but it needs to be completely dark inside and also needs to have a pinhole in the middle. With the kids he used an oatmeal box and an ice cream box which they first painted black inside. Each camera can only make one photo at a time, and there is a lot of trial before a picture is adjusted in a good way. All of the photos were developed in a dark room which Andrzej and the children built in the SOS Village. The second step of the project was to give cheap cameras to the kids, explain how to use them and how to see proper compositions. According to Andrzej, this is where the problems started. “My Macedonian language skills limited me and even with help from local volunteers, this still caused much frustration. Our budget was tiny at the beginning and suffered at this step because a lot of material was broken due to misunderstandings. Luckily the children from SOS Village are very smart and willing to learn, so after a few weeks we had many finished rolls of film.”
From Andrzej’s point of view, to coordinate such a small project is not at all an easy thing to do. But after a while when the results started to be closer and more tangible, he knew that it was worth it, and his excitement grew to the limit. “Maybe one day some of them will become famous photographers and this will be the bigger success of my small photo project.”
Together with his colleague and project assistant Zoran, they developed and prepared the most attractive pictures for an exhibition in ‘Kinoteka’. They also made a photo album and all the money from sales get donated to the SOS Children Village, to fund further projects.