Picture Pals aims to educate and empower young people around the world, providing them support to develop their voices and engage in a multicultural dialogue through the medium of photography.

Through the generosity of ImagineAsia, the non profit organization of Steve and Bonnie McCurry, students at the Baale Parwaz and Andeshagah Libraries in Kabul, Afghanistan were able to take a 5 day course to learn basic photography. Picture Pals was formed to provide this same opportunity to populations of High School students from underserved communities around the world and to foster a multicultural dialogue through the medium of photography.

Our Program

Photo 1

Introduction to the camera and picture taking with an emphasis on learning by doing. This will be a minimum of a five day course lead by a photojournalist. Where possible, the photojournalist will be local, the program extended to include visits to museums or studios to see the work of other photographers and will incorporate the teaching of guest artists.

Outreach 1

Relationships between individual students at different locations will be initiated. At each location, students will share their views of their own cultural identity and learn about the others culture. Students will discuss themselves, their families, their cities, their countries, their lives.

Photo 2

For those students who are seriously interested in further developing their photographic skills and who have shown talent, skill and dedication to the art of photography, a second 3 day photography workshop will be offered.

Outreach 2

Students will be encouraged to broaden their communications by reaching out to students in multiple locations around the world. Workshops on a wide variety of topics such as the role of women in society or climate change will facilitated as part of this program.

Photo Zine

Although the work of all students may not be part of an exhibition (see below), all students will have the opportunity to contribute to Picture Pals Photo Zine. This quarterly publication will utilize at least one photograph by each student in order to showcase the diverse points of view that each student has to offer through their work.

Exhibition

Providing student photographers an opportunity to see their work exhibited is an important aspect of Picture Pals. Exhibitions will be held locally where students live and where possible at independent venues.

Student Photos

Photo taken by Asma in a class sponsored by ImagineAsia and taught by Mariam Alimi

Photo taken by Arabia in a class sponsored by ImagineAsia and taught by Mariam Alimi

Photo taken by Tamana in a class sponsored by ImagineAsia and taught by Mariam Alimi

Want to bring a workshop to your community?

Picture Pals creates customized photography workshops and online discussions for youth in low-resource settings throughout the world. Through digital communication, participants enrich their personal development, ability to engage constructively in the world and develop a greater sense of identity, empathy and empowerment.

Contact us at picturepalsworld@gmail.com

Our Students

Our Teachers

Mariam Alimi
Kabul, Afganistan
Min Bajracharya
Kathmandu, Nepal
Ali Lapetina
Detroit, USA
Paul Star
New York, USA
Lorraine Star
New York, USA

Our Locations

Our Partners

Our Team

Joe Highland

Throughout my life, the plight of people and risks to the environment have been strong and constant concerns. Early in life, my parents set the tone as we discussed the suffering of others and what could be done to help. Later, I was fortunate to work for Ralph Nader and at the Environmental Defense Fund. For the last 10 years, I have worked with the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund supporting the education of young Afghans, primarily women. During my professional career I also have done biochemical research at the NIH, taught and did environmental research at Princeton University and was CEO of ENVIRON a world-wide environmental consulting firm.

Now that I am retired, I focus my time and financial support on projects such as Picture Pals that provide opportunities for young people. It is my hope that with this support they will have a greater chance of achieving a full and meaningful life and be able to look back as I can and feel it has been a life well led. I am happily married for 53 years, have three great children and three wonderful granddaughters.

Paul Star

When I was 13 years old I got my first job at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport. I worked in a camera shop. That experience at a young age led to 60 years of love of cameras, photography, working in the darkroom and exploring the world taking pictures.

I am now retired after teaching at the University of New England for 35 years where I had the rewarding opportunity to interact with young people, teach abroad and continue with my photography.

I am very fortunate and have had a good life. I am healthy, have been married for 51 years to Lorraine. We have taught and traveled together and share the same life goals. We have 2 happily married and successful sons, a wonderful grandson and a sweet grand dog. Now that I have more time I want to put my experience in teaching and photography to good and practical use. Picture Pals allows me to achieve both of the goals while helping others in underserved communities around the world.