Fedno Lubin, Future Haitian Photojournalist: Post #4
He became part of Art Creation Foundation for Children in 2005 at the age of 11 having begun, but not having completed first grade. He was born in a rural area in a situation of abject poverty. At 10 he was sent to an aunt who agreed to take him in so that he could attend school, but then could not pay the fees for him to complete first grade. In Haiti, it is rare for a child to be permitted to advance if a grade is not completed, but Fedno’s intelligence and desire to learn convinced the headmaster to let him enter second grade, rather than repeat first grade. This was his first victory and he has been an excellent student ever since.
As with many of the children who have entered the foundation’s art and educational programs, if you had asked him at age 10 what he wanted to be when he grew up, you would have gotten a blank stare. The goal was to get through the day.
Fedno was the first teen I met when I got to Jacmel. He helped me set up the equipment I brought and to test its suitability for photographing artwork using natural light on the upstairs balcony.
Imagine my joy as a photographer/teacher when he was actually thrilled to understand what you can learn from a histogram on the display of a digital camera! (Fedno uses a more sophisticated camera than the other kids, donated by a photographer who works with the group on documentary projects and understands his capabilities.)
When the rest of the group arrived from school, Fedno proved his leadership abilities in assisting me in demonstrating the techniques for shooting artwork.
The following morning we worked together on understanding aperture and shutter speed, and how these settings give you control over your final image. He was like a sponge and took careful notes.
When we moved to the computer on the final day, Fedno quickly learned what was necessary to transfer the images to each teen’s photo file and was instrumental in the discussion and critique of the images and how they might be improved. Since I didn’t have consistent translation help that day, I was very, very appreciative!
Then we all went out for a farewell party.
The next morning, Fedno presented me with a beautiful small painting he created as a thank you. It is signed on the reverse, “Fedno, Journalist.” His goals for the future are clear.