As Eye See It is a photographic project for young people living in the out-of-home care system who are provided with cameras and given two weeks to take pictures of things that are important to them. Of those pictures they are asked to select five and to provide a sixth photograph of their right eye, in close up.
In addition to the photographs each young person is asked to provide a piece of written word which can describe the photographs, explain what they were trying to say in their pictures, or talk more generally about what is important in their world.
This collection of photographs and written pieces is then launched in a public exhibition, in turn raising awareness about out-of-home care and providing an insight into the worlds of those who live within it.
The successful implementation of As Eye See It has raised the importance of providing creative means through which young people can express themselves and those responsible for their care can effectively hear them. It is the hope of the As Eye See It team that with more involvement we can increase the impact of the messages from young people and create a groundswell from their voices.
As Eye See It fundamentally respects young people in care as the experts of their own experiences – this is a non-threatening, fun and creative way for them to tell us what life is like for them.
For more information please visit The Commission for Children and Young People.
In June 2008, The Salvation Army Westcare approached the Victorian Office of the Child Safety Commissioner (OCSC) [now The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP)] with an idea to use photography as a creative medium through which young people living in the out-of-home care system might be able to express what is important to them.
With the support of the OCSC, a further ten out-of-home care agencies in Victoria were brought together to form a collaborative project team. The OCSC and The Salvation Army Westcare committed seed funding and each agency was asked to contribute a set amount towards cameras for the young people in their care and the launch costs.
The project name reflects the project aim – 'to see the world through the eyes of young people themselves and to provide them with a mechanism for showing their version of the world to others'. To illustrate this, each participant was required to make one of their six photographs a close-up image of their right eye. This both emphasised the project purpose and visually tied all of the exhibited works together through a common thread.
Over a short and furiously productive few weeks, 76 young people produced 456 black-and-white photographs and written pieces to accompany them. These were professionally mounted on boards and on February 10th 2009, the first Exhibition of As Eye See It was launched at the Atrium in Melbourne's Federation Square.