At Blue Water Baltimore we know that nobody understands the solutions to the complex challenges facing urban neighborhoods better than its residents. Photovoice is a unique educational workshop series that seeks to empower local communities to see and shape the world around them through the creative process. This post is the first in a series that will highlight the work of our resident researchers in Oliver. You can read more about the Photovoice Oliver Project here: https://bluewaterbaltimore.org/blog/the-photovoice-project-oliver/. The next series of workshops will be held in Mondawmin this April; Mondawmin residents my contact Blue Water Baltimore’s Outreach & Education Coordinator, Michel Anderson, for more information.
The following photographs and narrative are the work of Oliver resident, A’shonte Jones.
The crisp green leaf in this photograph symbolizes what I see in the Oliver community and what we are striving to become – fresh and restored.
I found this photo symbolic of division. A place that is supposed to be welcoming and open to all, having a sign that states otherwise. It speaks volume on how unsafe people feel in their community.
There is a weed with radiant flowers flourishing on the tips in front of a sewage drain with pieces of trash around. This photograph represents the beauty of Oliver and the aftereffect of not caring – trashy streets and clogged sewage drains.
This photograph is a view of a place that once served youth and gave them a place they could learn the sport of tennis. Now, this court has more cigarette buds and beer bottles than tennis balls.
A‘shonte Jones is a native of Virginia. She is now a resident in the Oliver Community where she serves as the Communications Director for Your Baltimore Community Development. A‘shonte has always had an interest in arts of all kinds and she is currently studying to be a cinematographer. Photography and film are two of A‘shonte‘s passions.
Find more of her photography on Instagram @imashonte
The views expressed in this post are those of the featured Photovoice participant and not necessarily that of Blue Water Baltimore.