We at Five Boroughs Foundation of Photography believe in the advancement of a child’s voice through visual expression. Our goal is to support children’s dreams, to empower their voice, and help each child frame his or her vision through direct interaction with the immediate world that surrounds them.

Personal experience teaches us to trust in the power of visual expression. Adult or child, the camera has always fascinated generations, allowing many to devise an honest vision of our world, politics, culture, music, and art – capturing personal intimacy behind closed doors of a photographer’s own home, to seizing moments of real, undistorted life on the streets of our cities.

For each photographer the camera represents something unique, but ultimately it functions as their subconscious eye, capturing either the immediate world around them, or the fictional, manipulated environment the photographer can create inside of a staged setting. As a language of their own, pictures create a dialogue between their photographer and the audience. In our case, our photographers are kids. Their pictures offer us an intimate look into their minds, allowing us a sneak into their reality, desire, memory and imagination.

We hope our programs will help many of us understand the kids of New York City and other geographies better than we do today. We hope their voices will help us understand our cities better. We believe our children deserve a fair opportunity to express themselves freely and we take it upon ourselves to provide them with this opportunity.

Oleg A. Ilitchev

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