Environmental Photography

Environment Through The Lens of Youth - Photography Project 2020

Te Ipukarea Society, with the support of the US Embassy in New Zealand, are currently carrying out environmental photography modules in 6 local high schools across Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.  This 2 year project called 'Environment Through The Lens of Youth' is all about using photography to share messages of  environmental and conservation issues as an effective medium for awareness raising.

Our Cook Islands youth today offer a refreshing perspective when it comes to how they understand our environment.  It is refreshing to see how our tamariki and mapu are becoming more conscious of our Mana Tiaki values of guardianship.  They have been exposed to both old and modern sustainable practices. The future they aspire to needs to be heard, and this programme hopes to offer an alternative platform to public speaking through the use of images taken through the lens of our youth today.

Part of the programme is to engage youth in our local environmental issues, covering landscapes from the ridge to the reef. The positives, negatives, threats and solutions will all be discussed by experts from local NGO’s Te Ipukarea Society, Kōrero o te `Ōrau, respected cultural leaders and also government agencies.

Students will then be taught how to use Nikon DSLR cameras as well as the editing skills involved by local photographers Tokerau Jim and Turama Photography.  These technical skills could create exciting employment opportunities for our youth ranging from tourism to international platforms such as National Geographic and Time Magazine.

By the end of the programme each student will select a photo of a particular issue or area they feel most connected to which will be exhibited with families, friends and the wider public.

The U.S Ambassador to the Cook Islands, Mr Scott Brown says "We are proud to support this significant and creative project in the Cook Islands happening over the next 3 years in Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Atiu. We hope the youth in Rarotonga and Pa Enua make the most of this opportunity to learn practical skills. We look forward to seeing the photos they capture of your fabulous country while also promoting our shared value of environmental protection."

Launch of Environmental Photography Exhibition – Tereora College, Rarotonga

Tereora College Photo Exhibition at Bergman Gallery

Tereora College Year 12 ‘Environmental Sustainability’ class of 2020 celebrated the close of their environmental photography programme run by Te Ipukarea Society with an exhbition at Bergman Gallery running for 3 weeks in September 2020.  Each of the 21 individual photographs in the online gallery depict an environmental message of personal significance to each of the students. Topics ranged from waste issues to local biodiversity and invasive species.  You can view the photos here

Big Congrats to the two winners who took home generous prizes from Magic Reef Bungalows - Rarotonga:

  • Maiata Mussell for Best Photo
  • Eileen Vakapora for 'Most Aspiring Photographer'