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In the News: Youth Photography Builds Community in Portland

When photojournalist Julie Keefe moved into her rapidly changing (and gentrifying) North Portland community, a place that was once "a village raising all the kids," she noticed that as new business grew, streets became safer, and houses were fixed up, the dialogue between community members (and children) took a sharp decline . . . that people weren't saying "Hello" anymore. She wanted to publicly address these changes, that she as a new neighbor was a part of, and spur new conversation.
So, she began a yearlong youth photography project called Hello Neighbor. Kids began to approach their new neighbors, of all ages, and ask to interview and photograph them. At the same time the children were learning interviewing skills and photography techniques, they were also saying hello to their neighbors and bridging a gap that had been widening for some time. Keefe chose several of the children's images to be printed in mural size and in black and white, along with text from the interviews, and hung them throughout the community to serve as a simple reminder that "it all begins with a simple hello." Read more about the project in NPR's "A Photo Project's Message: Hello, Neighbor."

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