Epic Views

Often, minority communities have little control over how they are represented in the media. That’s why these photos taken by high schoolers in Queens are so powerful: they depict what their communities look like as seen through their own eyes.

These photographs were taken by freshmen and sophomores who were enrolled in a media literacy program at Epic High School North in Richmond Hill, Queens, where 79% of the students are eligible for the free lunch program. 38% of students are Hispanic/Latino, 22% are Black, 19% are Asian and the remaining 5% are white.

The Photography as Activism program was facilitated by a non-profit organization called The LAMP, which strives to encourage youth to think critically about the media and to create their own. The program’s goals were to provide the space and the skills for these students to “talk back” to traditional representations of their communities. By addressing themes of identity, the program hopes these images are a way for the students to show their own perspective and chase their dreams.