Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Girl Project: A Conversation

© The Girl Project

The talented Dina Kantor recently made us aware of the ongoing The Girl Project --"A national collection of photographs taken by teenage girls. The photographs represent teenage girlhood and life as seen through the eyes of young women in America", states the project's website.
Reminiscent of projects such as "Kids With Camera" and "Through The Eyes of Children - The Rwanda Project", this project however gives viewers a unique look at girlhood in America today and encourages and empowers girls to express themselves and take ownership.

© The Girl Project

The project intrigued us and made us curious about who is behind the idea. The Girl Project is spearheaded by New York based photographer Kate Engelbrecht, who took the time to answer a few questions for us:

NP: Tell us a little about yourself.
KE: I am from Minnesota originally. I grew up in Northern MN but have lived in NYC for the past 10 years. After college I didn't have a clue what to do with myself. I had majored in sociology and was not interested in a career in academia, so I moved to NYC and started working in advertising. Shortly after I learned I didn't want to work in advertising.

NP: How did you discover photography?
KE: It was at the ad agency I worked for. While I was quickly becoming uninterested in advertising I was even faster falling in love with photography. I bought a used Minolta with a 50mm lens for $150 and started shooting. It is still my favorite camera.

NP: How did this project come about?
KE: I had been toying with the idea for some time - looking for a way to blend two things that interest me (photography and girlhood). At some point I realized that the opportunity was bigger than just examining female adolescence through photography... and that it could also be a way to understand girls in an entirely new way. I figured why not go to the source - why not let the subject speak for herself.

NP: What would you consider to be the ideal venue to show an exhibit of these images you are collecting and curating?
KE: Great question. And I'm torn between two answers. One is institutional, by where my dream is to see The Girl Project on exhibit at ICP, Mass MoCA or The Walker. The other is to make it more approachable... more accessible... and get Target to sponsor a traveling exhibition in their stores.

NP: Thanks so much! We are much looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.

The Girl Project also has a blog:

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