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The 'Through Our Eyes’ project emerged out of the desire to portray our children’s perspective on life, law and the living. A group of young enthusiasts, who have never held a camera before, set out on a journey to capture expressions and moments which touched them. These amateur photographers have come up with images that raise questions, make us think and bring a smile. The effects that were created behind the shutter are profound with the context which is usually lost in our daily living.

Rob Thomas, mentor for these participants, exposed them to a world of images produced with the coordination of the heart, the mind, the eyes and the soul. The participants were in awe of the stories they could enfold with an image. Throughout the four weeks training of participative photography, Rob helped them explore the depth of their souls and gave perspective to their vision.

This book is a collection of the images created by Rob, Parvati, Imran, Ahsan and Ganpat. It attempts to capture the essence of Magic Bus and its participants from five different perspectives. The images in colour captured by the participants depict the aliveness and youthful zest from a local and personal awareness of the environment they experience each and every day. The black and white images captured by the mentor are a projection of life in Magic Bus viewed by someone outside the organisation, the city of Mumbai and the culture of a nation.

This first production of ‘Through our Eyes’ will lay a foundation for participative photography in Magic Bus.

This project is part of Magic Bus Sport for Development, a voluntary organisation in India that believes in the child’s right to play (declared by UN). We use sport as a medium to work on overall child development enabling girls and boys to realise their true potential. Since its inception the organisation has reached out to over 18,000 children living in some of the most at-risk and marginalised circumstances in the world and taking them on a journey of self-discovery through their childhood. Magic Bus aims to create a new generation of youth empowered to build and develop their communities.

Rob Thomas is a business and training consultant with a passion for photography. He is presently completing his MA in Photography (International Photojournalism, Travel and Documentary Photography at Bolton University in the UK. He has been involved with Magic Bus in a ‘distant consultative’ role for 5 years. In June 2007 he was asked to lead a business research project in relation to utilising Magic Bus Centre for Learning & Development. During the time he was in Mumbai he became aware of his interest in producing photographs of Mumbai, and in particular of Magic Bus and its work.

Rob is an extraordinary individual who has the skill in appreciating and accepting people the way they are and encouraging them to explore their hearts, minds and souls. His aim for this collaborative photography project is that it provides a unique view on, and more importantly FROM, the individuals within Magic Bus, and provides a valuable additional tool to the developmental work carried out by Magic Bus.

Shirin Juwaley - Communcations Manager: Magic Bus India

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Rob Thomas
robthomas London, United Kingdom

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