Museum of Photography and Santa Monica Home in collaboration in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. Augustinian Recollects. June 2024.

The girls and adolescents who benefited from the project have participated in the last four months of a course that has filled them with happy moments, discoveries, increased observation skills and has even given them the opportunity to exhibit their works.

The Saint Mónica Home of the Augustinian Recollects in Fortaleza offers shelter and comprehensive education to girls and adolescents who, by judicial decision, require a protected space and specialized care after having suffered abuse, violence or any type of violation of their rights.

Everyday life happens between regular classes at school, reinforced study, personal and group therapies and new activities that open your mind to new and unknown worlds, safe and kind, fun and educational, healing and joyful.

There are many friends, collaborators or volunteers, individuals or groups and institutions, who bring these girls and adolescents moments of special joy and learning. One of them, for four months, has been the Fortaleza Photography Museum, whose headquarters are at 545 Frederico Borges Street in the Varjota neighborhood of the capital of Ceará.

It has been a transformative experience that has used photography to achieve several objectives: promoting artistic skills, finding new ways of seeing space and reality, understanding what perspectives are and their implication…

Through a photography course, the beneficiaries of the Saint Monica Home have overcome a new challenge, that of offering a public exhibition of their works and receiving a certificate of aptitude after completing the course.

Not only did they learn to enclose beauty by framing it and turning a unique and unrepeatable, but outdated, moment into something perennial: they promoted self-esteem, their social inclusion, their creative expression, they set their own ideas, they told their own stories through images.

The professionals of the Museum of Photography shared their knowledge with theoretical and practical classes on composition, framing, lighting, editing and even some touches on the history of this form of communication. The classes were sometimes at the Saint Monica Home itself, other times on outings to capture images and apply the new knowledge.

For the beneficiaries it was the first time they saw and used a professional camera. Their faces reflected enthusiasm and amazement at all times. Those faces were repeated on June 9, when they received the diploma accrediting their participation in the course. Their instructors, the institutional representatives of the Museum of Photography and those invited to the event heard what this experience meant for the beneficiaries and for their instructors, who rarely have the opportunity to have such special students.

The photos resulting from this course are now on display at the Saint Monica Home throughout the month of June. It is the gaze of the minors, their sensitivity, their way of seeing landscapes and everyday life. You can discover where your eye placed each detail, each emotion.

This course, as well as many others offered through volunteers and collaborators, are a huge opportunity for the beneficiaries in their social inclusion, they discover their own achievements, their empowerment, their human and personal development, they see new niches for personal expression and horizons that could hardly have occurred in their contexts of origin.

The Saint Monica Home and the Augustinian Recollect Family thank the Museum of Photography and its professionals for this opportunity. Transforming lives and creating a dignified, inclusive and fair future for victims of abuse is a responsibility of all of society, a new form of protection for those seeking a new beginning.