During my second week in Kolkata, 8th Day Cafe reached out via Instagram to hear more about the project. I ended up eating there twice a week, enjoying a delicious cup of coffee and a bagel (my typical craving while abroad). I met with Andrew Shaughnessy and Varina Hart, who are currently on 1-2 year contracts starting up the new American Cafe. They were immediately excited about the project and offered their space for the exhibition. I was so amazed by the energy and support whenever I spoke up about the work the girls were doing.

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The night of the exhibition was amazing. Nearly 40 people crammed into the Cafe’s front room and looked at the work from the 6 artists. The girls families came, including mothers, grandmothers, fathers and cousins. Prints were for sale for 1000 rupees (about $15.00) and everyone sold at least two. At the end of the night we all huddled and I told everyone how proud I was of their work and accomplishments. They received their certifications. Tears began rolling down my face, as well as Priyanka’s. It is a night we will all remember. 

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Zainab and Saba’s family surrounding the class.
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Holly, Varina, Andrew (8th Day crew) & I at the exhibition.

What’s next?

The camera’s will remain in Kolkata and can be checked out by the students from the Made By Survivors office. So far, two students have checked out equipment and their work has been uploaded and emailed to me. I will keep posting their progress/ work throughout the year. Another round of workshops will commence Fall 2016.

 

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