Portrait of Scouting

The goal of this project is a portrait of scouting, painted with stories, focused on a current of the movement.
Curved into a visual book, organized by topics of current global affairs and Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. It is a kick start of gathering funds for equipment and a three-year-long project.

Everyone knows scouts! —it’s a common ground, in which I see a chance to speak about problems bothering all of us. For the last 100-years Scouts developed a method to work with challenges and after 20 years i know it’s amazing source for further thinking on our own problems.

The story is split into two parts: Origins — a history of scouting told by members, customs, and through emblems from around the world — followed by the Impact, built on Individual Development, Self-Empowerment and Community Service: three steps of the scouts’ personal development. Let me explain:

Imagine a ‘map’, while opening the first pages of this book: it slowly answers questions and creates a visual, rich picture of the scouts; interviews and their customs – detailed information on the differences between them coming from 100 years of history of scouts. But later on, when you learn some stuff, it takes you to their home. You spend time with them and watch how do they develop, why they spend time with each other and what are their challenges. How does it make them special. This is the first contemporary documentary on scouting, not only simply describing historical facts but going in depth with a relationship that we bond over the process and grow as a person.

EMPOWERMENT

Scouting empowers men and women in each part of the world. It creates a pathway for understanding our surrounding. It creates an environment for the youth to explore the world and to develop them individually, with a leader’s mentorship.

But also, it can help to grow national identity while on a refuge, away from home- to understand the cultural aspect of who we are and what are our roots.

The above aspects put scouting in an important part of a global community, and this is why I believe those stories should be gathered as one.

Particularly it is important for me to examine the workflow, as it makes the impact, which states the value of an idea – measured by what it causes.

During the time of the project I hope to showcase stories of scouts, whose environment is influenced by the political situation of their country or cultural aspects, and how they work within their environment. The final result will be a body of work that I hope to exhibit in scout halls and galleries, but most of all – to create a book.

Donations will help me gear up and also further exposure of important areas of the story through the network this platform creates. With a help of The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), I have access and the support of scouts from all around the world. But the beginnings are always the toughest ones.

The Impact

I hope to finish with a great material for scouts, delivering a tool in order to talk about topics covered in the stories, touching the Sustainable Development Goals of UN: a list of 17 challenges we, the people, face to achieve for more sustainable future for all.

But also, foremost, I think Scouting can be a catalyst – an accelerating environment for the process. Most of the society can relate to scouting, this is a familiar idea that provides a stable ground for further thinking on the common and global problems, on culture, religion, and politics. These stories can be exhibited in galleries, published in a variety of magazines/newspapers for a wider audience, scout or non-scout.

Syrian Scout Leaders preparing for activities during Canakkale Camp

Background

I have started working on this project while studying photojournalism at London College of Communication in London, focusing on the group of Polish Scouts in London, a young generation within old traditions of Polish scouting, giving me to understand a feeling of how they can let off steam in a safe, moral, environment.

Later, I went to Palestine to research the current state of youth under very hard political circumstances, finding scouts to build understanding and openness. Maybe giving them a small window to look through. Lately, I had a great pleasure to meet Syrians in Turkey, working with their national identity matters and creating a familiar environment for the kids in the new country.

Thanks to this platform I hope not only to receive help, giving me the time and tools to work on the story, but also a network of people interested in the conversation. There is a huge amount of work put in which I observe and hope to expose in my work. For now, also in my home country – Poland – in which scouting has been built on a long military history.

Risks and challenges

I assume the whole project will take three years, under the framework of the Development Goals and global issues listed by the UN and aspects related to human rights. This is a time-consuming three-years-long project that I am ready for.

The first £20,000 will cover the expenses for

  • Equipment
  • 6-months expenses for Work and Travel
  • Insurance and Medication

Further donations will cover:

  • Costs of other two and a half years of work on the project
  • Collaborations (film, writing, animations)
  • Materials for workshops that could be organized during the project for the scouts
  • Exhibitions

I am a professional, London College of Communication graduate photographer with experience in the media industry and international affairs. I have range of skills in media and marketing, ranging from graphic design, videography, and web design to curating exhibitions and organizing events.