Self expression and communicating beyond language: Heshima Blog Post

I first met Furaha on a cloudy morning--winter-in-July in Nairobi. I had been given a bit of background about all the young women and girls from Heshima Kenya that would be joining my workshops.

What I learned about Furaha stood out. She had lost her hearing not too long ago from loud explosions caused by war and violence in her home country. I was told that she spent most of her free time off on her own—finding it difficult to join in on casual conversations with friends.

There were two cameras that the class could share for the workshops. When Furaha got her turn, it was like the shades were lifted and the world was in color again. It was hard for her to give up that camera. She would come running over, showing me shots she had taken for the assignment. And her photos are good—she is a talented photographer and storyteller. She found a way to communicate with me beyond language and cultural barriers.