A unique exhibition featuring an amazing and diverse range of photographs taken by high school students from rural Jamaica is currently on display in Brussels, Belgium, in an exhibition at the Headquarters of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The exhibition is being staged as part of the activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of relations between the European Union and Jamaica. It was opened on 3 December 2015, and runs until to 31 January 2016.
Through the lens of high school students the project, which is sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation through its Resolution Project, depicts the various facets of Jamaican life and its people. Authentic and captivating scenes ranging from work, school, play, music, dance, religion, sports and nature are captured by the young photographers.
A reception to launch the exhibition was jointly hosted by the Mr. Roland Schafer, Acting Managing Director of the Americas Department of the EEAS and Ambassador Vilma McNish, Ambassador of Jamaica to Belgium and the European Union. Mr. Schaffer highlighted the strong partnership between Jamaica and the EU over the years. As evidence of its commitment to this partnership, he referred to the EU’s allocation of 46 million euros to Jamaica under the 11th European Development Fund from 2014 to 2020.
For her part, Ambassador McNish referred to the special economic and political relations between Jamaica and the EU over the last four decades spanning a number of sectors, including education, security, agriculture and rural development. “Jamaica and the EU have had a longstanding history of friendship and cooperation over the past forty years which will continue to strengthen for many years to come”, she said. She described Jamaica National Building Society as the epitome of corporate social responsibility in Jamaica, noting its efforts to make a positive impact in areas such as community development, culture, education and youth and security.
Dr. Saffrey Brown, General Manager of the Jamaica National Foundation was on hand to welcome the guests and provide the background and context of the exhibition. She said the main goal of the Resolution Project is the promotion of advocacy through the art of photography among young Jamaicans as a way of expressing themselves, focusing on issues that concern them. The photographs ask complex questions about human rights, sexuality, gender and identity issues that affect them and the communities in which they live, she said. The authenticity and uniqueness of Jamaica is captured through the lens of the young photographers.
Guests at the launch of the exhibition included representatives from the diplomatic corps, the European institutions, the Secretariat of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, as well as the Jamaican diaspora. Members of Parliament Mr. Fitz Jackson and Mr. Mikhail Philips who were in Brussels to attend the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly also attended.
Jamaica National Foundation has staged similar exhibitions in several countries including the USA, the UK and Germany.