Senior Receives Peace Project Grant
April 5, 2010
Anna Valiante ’10 received the $10,000 Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace grant.
Dickinson College senior Anna Valiante, a sociology major from Wilson, Wyo., has been awarded the $10,000 Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace grant for her proposal, “Pirambu Peace Project: Building skills and empowering the children of the Pirambu neighborhood in Fortaleza, Brazil, Summer 2010.”
The eight-week project is designed to empower adolescents from the Pirambu neighborhood of Fortaleza through photography and English language skills. Students will be recruited from two local high schools and will work with ACARTES, a local organization that serves disadvantaged youth in the area.
“I am so excited that I am getting the chance to return to Brazil,” Valiante said. “I partnered with a friend from Brazil who is a photojournalism major at the University of Fortaleza. We met while I was studying in Fortaleza last year and immediately connected. Because of my experience living in the city of Fortaleza, specifically the neighborhood of Cristo Redentor in Pirambu, I was eager to find a way to return in order to share the incredible experiences I had with the rest of the world.”
Valiante’s goal is to help the children to use the camera lens as a tool for self-exploration.
“Photography will give the students a chance to expose their realities with the city of Fortaleza as well as the rest of the world,” she said. “It will be their opportunity to speak out against the oppression they have faced due to a history of isolation from the larger community. Images will reveal the rich culture and the hearts of the people of Pirambu, opening doors and help to bring long overdue healing.
“From my time spent in Brazil I was exposed to a reality very different from my own,” she added. “I spent many hours listening to amazing stories from people that have faced very harsh situations. Because of violence associated with this area and poor infrastructure, there has been a long-term stigma associated with Pirambu. Other communities in Fortaleza don’t have an appreciation for the strength and love among the residents of Pirambu. Everyone has a story that is deserved to be heard. Through the Pirambu Peace Project we will work with a group of 20 students on sharing their stories through photography.”