Through the lens

Sport Southland connecting communities lead adviser Gareth Scott puts the finishing touches to a South Alive Opportunities in Our Community photo exhibition. Photo: Petrina Wright

WHAT do empty spaces, disused play equipment, rubbish and bare alleyways have in common?

They are all opportunities within a community seen through the lens of young people – and that is the theme for a new photography exhibition which opened at the South Alive Community Artspace on Tuesday.

Aptly titled Opportunities in Our Community, the project showcases photographs taken by Aurora College pupils in Years 8, 9, and 10, highlighting opportunities they have seen in their local community.

Sport Southland Connecting Communities lead adviser Gareth Scott said the initiative was all about capturing what young people see, and Photovoice was a tool to do this.

“We did some work with the students on what opportunities might look like, whether they be in parks, walkways, street curbs, wherever… it was about getting them to consider not what was wrong, but what could be strong in their community.”

Southland photographer Dot Mulley worked with the pupils on photography and they then went out and captured hundreds of photos, identifying a huge range of opportunities they saw locally.

They then whittled them down to a select few which they captioned.

“It’s been so positive to see the possibilities that the students see,” Mr Scott said.

“There are some really thought-provoking images and captions, it’s quite powerful stuff, but it’s also really good to see the thinking – they’re looking at these empty or disused spaces, or whatever it is, and not just seeing that, but seeing opportunities for great things.”

The images will be on display at the South Alive Community Artspace, in the South City Mall, until Friday, October 20.

Mr Scott said he hoped those people who went to the exhibition would also see further scope for opportunities within their community.