Argentina: Photojournalism and Social Change

Develop your photography skills and practice your Spanish as you explore Argentine society and social issues during a summer abroad.

Embark on a hands-on exploration of photojournalism on this high school summer abroad program in Argentina. Study the fundamentals of photography and the art of storytelling through images. Attend digital photography classes and photojournalism workshops, go on photo shoots, and visit local galleries. Become acquainted with issues relevant to a local community and, using your own creativity and self-expression, choose a subject matter and social issue to document through photographs. After learning how to design your own pinhole camera under the guidance of an Argentine artist, you and your group will conduct a series of photography workshops for schoolchildren in under-served communities.

During your time in the capital, learn about Argentine history and culture, visiting art museums, the Plaza de Mayo, and other important sites. Go beyond Buenos Aires’ well-known locations and explore diverse neighborhoods throughout the city with your group. Meet with local youth to gain a deeper understanding of Argentine life and contemporary social issues.

Continue practicing your Spanish as you experience Argentine daily life, food, and culture outside the capital city, particularly during the program’s two-week homestay in Rafaela or Santa Fe. In addition to daily activities with your host families—such as cooking traditional meals together—go on excursions with your group around the area, including to Rosario, one of Argentina’s largest cities and home to impressive examples of neoclassical architecture, retained throughout the centuries. During this time, work on your own photojournalism project, focusing on a social, economic, political, or cultural theme of your choice. Learn to use photography as an effective tool to communicate and document the ideas, perspectives, knowledge, and stories you gather through your summer in Argentina. Near the end of the program, your group will organize a collaborative exhibition of your photography.

Orientation: Buenos Aires, 3–4 days
Homestay: Rafaela or Santa Fe,* 14–16 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels

* Homestay locations can vary.

Days 1–3

Orientation in Buenos Aires

  • Learn about the history and culture of Argentina from experts
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities
  • Practice your Spanish language skills

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 4–11

Thematic Focus in Buenos Aires

  • Attend photography lessons to learn technique in taking photos
  • Visit important sites in the city, including art museums and the Plaza de Mayo
  • Conduct a photo shoot
  • Go on excursions to an estancia (ranch) and El Tigre Delta del Parana Islands

During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 12–27

Homestay in Rafaela or Santa Fe

  • Do activities with your host family
  • Practice your Spanish language skills
  • Go on an excursion to Cayasta to see the archaeological ruins and history museum there
  • Go on an excursion to a nature reserve with Argentine high school students

Thematic Focus

  • Attend photography workshops
  • Learn how to make and use a pinhole camera
  • Learn how to develop film
  • Conduct photography workshops for schoolchildren
  • Visit sites of interest, including Santa Fe’s historic downtown, and take photos for projects
  • Hold an exhibit of your photos

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family in Santa Fe.

Days 28–29

Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Buenos Aires

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program
  • Interact with Argentine students
  • Visit places of interest

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay at a nearby hotel.

Day 30

Departure

Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.

These are leader bios from summer 2015.

Kristiana Chan

Kristiana Chan is a painter, photographer, filmmaker, and social advocate based in North Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2015 with a BA in studio art and concentrations in Latin American studies and entrepreneurial studies. Born to a Malaysian immigrant family in Alberta, Canada, Kristi’s unique cultural background sparked her interest in other cultures and a passion for connecting people and ideas. She has traveled extensively shooting humanitarian, landscape, and adventure photography, and spent the summer of 2014 in Nepal working on a grant-funded independent film. Kristi lived in Lima, Peru, for a summer, to serve as the production assistant and design intern with a women’s empowerment organization. She also spent a semester abroad in Ecuador, where she lived with a host family and volunteered for a local design studio.

Kristi’s short film “Gordon” was featured in Local Color, an online art magazine, and was awarded the Hane's Gallery Purchase Award in 2014—to be included in Wake Forest University's permanent collection. In April 2015, Kristi exhibited her first solo show, “Origins,” in which she used painting and video to explore the meaning of American identity and the concept of American "whiteness" as they relate to those with diverse backgrounds. With her work, Kristi hopes to tell stories and collaborate with others while finding and creating beauty that both empowers and inspires.

Teresa Tomassoni

Teresa Tomassoni has spent the last 10 years studying and working as a human rights advocate in the US and abroad. She obtained a BA from Long Island University (LIU) through its unique global studies program; as a student with LIU Global, Teresa embraced international immersion to its fullest, living and studying throughout Asia and Latin America for eight semesters. She then earned a master’s degree in journalism from the City University of New York.

Teresa is passionate about social justice and gender equality and has dedicated most of her career to empowering female survivors of human trafficking in Peru, New York City, and Washington, DC. She has also reported on these issues for Lens (a New York Times photojournalism blog), National Public Radio, and The Washington Post. In her current position as program director at FAIR Girls, Teresa oversees crisis response services and a youth leadership development program, “Dare to Thrive,” for teenage girls who have experienced violence and exploitation. Teresa lives along the Chesapeake Bay and considers herself an artist and nature enthusiast. She spends as much time as possible on the beach and playing with her Boston terrier, Jewel, who is in training to be a therapy dog.

We did an activity where we shared something that we would take away from the trip and for the first time I looked at the trip as a whole. I realized how much I had gained, how independent I’d grown, how free and light I felt, how much confidence I had for the first time in a while, how I didn’t have so much fear and anxiety for the future, and how I was actually excited to get back to school and experience what I considered my boring everyday life, with a new perspective and with so many more experiences under my belt that would hopefully prepare me for the future, a future that seemed infinitely larger than before my trip and filled with more possibilities for connection, friendship, learning and sharing than I’d imagined.

Zazie Ray Trapido, Abington Friends School

At the beginning of my homestay, I referred to my host family as my ‘host family’, and my real family as my ‘real family’. By the end of the trip there was no ‘host’ and there was no ‘real’. Family is family, familia es familia. It doesn’t matter whether we share blood or a last name. This trip has showed me that the word ‘family’ can be defined in so many different ways. It can be as simple as the people you live with, but it can also be a group of people that make you feel loved and cared for. A group of people who will always support you and believe in you. This trip has taught me that age...location...language...none of that has anything to with what family is truly about.
EIL has a mission statement of building a better world, one friendship at a time. I believe that it is something bigger than that. My family welcomed a stranger into their home from across the world. It’s people like that and connections like that that will make the world a stronger and better place. Of course we need to build the world one friendship at a time. Even more than that though, I think we need to build a better world, one family member at a time.

Lindsay Mitnik, Brattleboro Union High School