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New exhibition to be showcased as photographer inspires African children ‘to learn new skills’

PUBLISHED: 15:01 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:02 16 October 2018

Photographer Julian Claxton with children he taught on his most recent visit to Uganda. Some of their images will be on show at the Norwich Playhouse from October 31 to December 1. Picture: Julian Claxton

Photographer Julian Claxton with children he taught on his most recent visit to Uganda. Some of their images will be on show at the Norwich Playhouse from October 31 to December 1. Picture: Julian Claxton

Archant

An award-winning photographer, who taught young African children how to look at their surroundings through the camera lens, is set to stage a special exhibition.

Some of the Ugandan children taught by photographer Julian Claxton practice their new-found skills close to their mountain community. Picture: Julian ClaxtonSome of the Ugandan children taught by photographer Julian Claxton practice their new-found skills close to their mountain community. Picture: Julian Claxton

Julian Claxton, of Oulton, will exhibit photographs from his recent trip to Uganda at the Norwich Playhouse from October 31 to December 1.

Mr Claxton, 38, set up the Give a Child a Camera project four years ago after visiting a deprived rural community in Uganda during a long-distance charity cycle ride. He returned the following year with 25 cameras and 50 rolls of film and over several weeks taught a group of boys and girls the basics of photography at their village school in the south-west of the country.

Images like this one, taken by one of Julian Claxton�s Ugandan photography group (Bridget), capture daily life in the community close to the Rwandan border. Picture: BridgetImages like this one, taken by one of Julian Claxton�s Ugandan photography group (Bridget), capture daily life in the community close to the Rwandan border. Picture: Bridget

He returned in 2016 and again in February this year, teaching new groups of youngsters aged between nine and 15. Their images, together with photographs taken by Mr Claxton, will be on display from the end of the month having been showcased at an exhibition in Edinburgh in June.

During his latest visit Mr Claxton worked with Katuna MARPS, an organisation that provides education and health care to women in the sex industry, many of whom have HIV or Hepatitis B. The children he taught are their sons and daughters.

The Give a Child a Camera project came about after Mr Claxton and some friends cycled 6,000 miles from Bury St Edmunds to Rwanda in 2012 to raise money for the Go Rwanda Sports Charity. He stopped in a rural community in Uganda on the way and was moved by the hospitality of the village. He recalled: “It was quite shocking and I wanted to go back to empower the boys and girls to learn new skills and to document their lives and surroundings using photography. I feel privileged to be able to work with these incredibly resilient young people, none of whom have ever held a camera before.”

Next year, Mr Claxton – who has run his own photography business since 2008 – will travel to Rwanda to teach photography to a group of disabled children. All the cameras he takes to Africa are given to him, and funding comes from donations made at talks he gives to local organisations.

For more information or to donate a camera visit www.giveachildacamera.co.uk

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