San Paolo (Brazil). On 12 and 15 September 2023, Our Lady Aparecida Province (BAP) organized the 1st Click formation, an online formation aimed at the Community Animators, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and the lay people responsible for Communication in the various presences.
The objective of the initiative was to reflect and discuss photographic documentation, the creation and archiving of photographs, in order to document and preserve the charismatic and educational history of the Communities of the BAP Province.
On 12 September, the meeting was dedicated to the Animators, those who have the task of coordinating and accompanying the life of the FMA Community. Other FMA interested in the topic also had the opportunity to participate and reflect on the proposal, born from a synodal initiative between Communications and the Province Secretariat.
On 15 September, it was the turn of the communications referents of the various works, mostly lay people, who document local history on a daily basis and have the precious task of carrying forward, together with the FMA, the Charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
The meeting, coordinated by Sister Gisele Coelho, Provincial Secretary, and Sister Maike Loes, Communications Coordinator, began with the “Photographer’s Prayer”, invoking the protection of Saint Veronica, patron saint of photographers.
Sister Gisele shared a reflection on the importance of photographic documents, reporting some interesting items from the Province archive. She then underlined some differences between the photographic documents of the past and those of the present, not only in terms of quality, but above all with regard to the attention that the FMA of the early times dedicated to archives and historical memory.
Subsequently, Sister Maike presented suggestions on photographic technique, underlining that the purpose of the meeting was not to teach how to take photos, but that a certain amount of care is actually necessary to obtain good quality images. She used “intentionality” as a key word in the art of “writing with light”. In other words, you need to be aware of what you are doing; know what and why you want to photograph.
As Provincial Secretary, Sister Gisele shared with the participants the guidelines for the conservation of photographs, as requested by the General Secretariat of the FMA Institute, as well as the format of the captions and the type of photos to be preserved in the local, Province, and general photographic Archives.
The Community Animators were able to do a practical exercise, analyzing a photo proposed by the coordinators of the meeting and creating the caption together. For the Communicators group, each participant had chosen in advance a photograph of the presence in which she works, analyzed it individually following the instructions provided, and constructed the caption.
At the end of the meeting, Daniela and Paula, respectively representing a school and a social organization, presented the chosen photo and the related caption, so that the others could evaluate their work. The rest of the group sent the completed activity to the coordinators who will give personalized feedback, studying the guidelines, and answering any doubts or questions of the participants.
The 2nd Click Formation will take place on 17 October for BAP Communicators and on 10 November for Community Animators, on the theme: photographs and digital archiving.