Being a fall intern this year at Pivot I feel lucky to be able to participate in the whole cycle of the Hope in Shadows project. About a year ago when I started to think about applying for an internship with this fabulous organization, Hope in Shadows was definitely one of their projects that made me believe that Pivot does outstanding work. This is because it not only talks about doing social justice, but does so by engaging the marginalized people of our community.
“Engaging” with people as part of Hope in the Shadows -project has touched me the most. I expected the calendar to be a good sales opportunity for the vendors but I was quite surprised how much the project itself actually means to the community from the Downtown Eastside. Although I would expect people who participate but don’t have a winning photo might feel excluded or a little upset, I found out that my assumptions were wrong.
The Hope in Shadows project does not only make the winning photographers feel special, it makes the whole community special. All the different photos are not just pictures but reveal so much personal meaning. This is because through these images people portray their own lives and the area they are living in. They are proud of each other, proud of their artwork, and proud of being able to contribute and be part of such an outstanding project. It makes me happy to meet vendors out on Vancouver’s streets, stop and chat with them and see how well they are doing selling this year’s calendar.
“Still waiting” is the title of one of the winning photos in this year’s Hope in Shadows photo contest. The reason why I think this particular picture is illustrative of the project is not because I like it better than the other ones; I honestly think that all of them are great. I chose this picture because it points out how the system fails to make social justice happen and does not allow some people to have their basic rights recognized, so many people are let down and are still waiting for their lives to change for the better.