Photographer returns from Ugandan trip to work with pupils at a Lowestoft school

Pakefield Primary school children took part in the photo project.

Pakefield Primary school children took part in the photo project. - Credit: Archant

Schoolchildren at a primary school in Lowestoft have been fortunate enough to experience a visit from a photographer who has recently returned from a trip to Uganda.

The Eden School children also took part in the photographic project. Pictures: Julian Claxton

The Eden School children also took part in the photographic project. Pictures: Julian Claxton - Credit: Archant

Julian Claxton, 34, from Oulton, worked with the children at Pakefield Primary School and allowed them to take photographs of their life using film cameras to exhibit alongside images taken by the Ugandan schoolchildren, who Mr Claxton was teaching photography to this year.

Spending three weeks in rural Uganda, Mr Claxton took film cameras and donations with him to teach photography to the children of Eden Standard Preparatory School.

It was the first time that the Ugandan children had picked up a camera and for many of the aspiring photographers, they were the first in their family to have used any photographic equipment.

Eden school is 12 miles from the border with Rwanda and has 84 pupils from the small local community, many of whom are orphans.

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The children were given their own 35mm cameras and were provided with the opportunity to take photographs of their life and the things important to them.

The photography was such a success at Eden school that it has now been added to the timetable and, thanks to ongoing donations and support, the children continue to learn about photography and get their images developed.

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Upon his return to Lowestoft, Mr Claxton worked with a group of students from Pakefield Primary, who were given the opportunity to also take photographs of their life in the hope the images would display a similar outlook on life.

Speaking about his experience, Mr Claxton said: 'The excitement in giving the cameras to the children was wonderful. To watch them learn about photography, to hold and use a camera for the first time was a really worthwhile experience.

'Visiting their homes, I trekked for miles over hills and into valleys. I was the first white man to have visited these families and it was such a privilege and gave me an insight into their life.

'The moment when the school door opened and the children came, seeing their photographs on display was probably one of the proudest and most thrilling of my life. Their faces lit up with excitement and wonderment and, from my point of view, it was thrilling to see a real insight into their lives.'

The photographic display from the two schools is in the hall at Pakefield Primary and Mr Claxton will be exhibiting his own images alongside those from Eden school at the Forum in Norwich from Tuesday, August 4.

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