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Portraits of the Youth Forum

Meet members of our Youth Forum through portraits taken by award-winning photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn.

Our Youth Forum members have been helping shape our new Sound and Vision galleries with their ideas and reflections.

As part of this, they took part in workshops exploring identity, self and how these ideas fit with our Sound and Vision galleries with renowned portrait photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn. The group looked at lots of aspects of identity and photography, including how we perceive ourselves and others, and the history of selfies and amateur photography.

To close the workshops, our youth forum members interviewed each other about their hopes and dreams, and had their portraits taken by Carolyn—you can explore the portraits and hear some of their reflections here.


Samman is wearing a long-sleeved red dress and has pink clips holding her long black hair back. © Carolyn Mendelsohn

"I think Carolyn is a very calm and professional photographer who immediately builds a very secure and stable relationship with you."

"I think that the museum offers great opportunities for youth. Not only it encourages you to look outside the box and develop social maturity but also while having fun."

"I enjoyed every single session with the people, who were incredibly affable, diverse, yet a unit. I am definitely coming back and recommending it to my friends."



Adam wears a white shirt, grey fleece and glasses. He looks intently at the camera. © Carolyn Mendelsohn

"In the 21st century, having a picture or a portrait of yourself is a common action and not an art. People will rarely experience having a portrait delicately constructed when they have a professional photographer hired. It is in these rare moments, when photography becomes the true art it is, in the same vain in which kings in centuries past would have their portrait painted, or just mere decades ago when photos in colour were rare delicacies.

In the modern world, it is a simple affair to have a picture taken and the hardware capable is literally carried around by everyone, always in their pocket. This is why I think that having a portrait taken is a unique and memorable experience to experience in the modern world in which we live in to remind us of how fast the world changes."



Faith wears a blue plaid shirt and has her hair in long, fine braids © Carolyn Mendelsohn

"The best part of the Youth Forum has been meeting other people my age and sharing our ideas together."



Fiona wears a plain black t-shirt and has silver piercings on her upper lip and both sides of her nose © Carolyn Mendelsohn

"The workshops with Carolyn were a lot of fun! It was so lovely just listening to her talk about her life and her family and how she got into photography. The perceived-self activity we did with her (where we drew our outlines and wrote in them) was heartwarming, and it felt like I learned quite a bit about everybody :)"

"The youth forum has helped me personally develop my confidence. Since the group is quite small, it’s much harder to hide. So I’ve found myself contributing and talking more than I usually would in a class environment."