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India /// September - November 2016

After several months spent coasts apart, our equipazo reunited together in California and headed off a week later India! Our first stop was Manori, a tiny "island" off India's largest metropolis, Mumbai. Here, we worked with the Manori Art Project, an initiative of Follow the Sun, facilitating photography classes and a beach cleanup as part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup!

Our next stop was Goa, where we explored the local coastal culture and learned more about the rise of tourism specifically to this part of India which plays hosts to Russians, Israeli, and British tour groups year-round.

We then made our way down to Karnataka to collaborate with our friends at the Shaka Surf Club! Ishita and Tushar are passionate about tourism done sustainably and collectively with the small-scale fishing village their surf school is located. We facilitated workshops in photography and stop-motion with the local groms and even got to spend Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) with the families!

Our local crew of groms produced their own stop-motion animation about the trash along their beach and in the sea... "Garbage Man" is a new demon in Indian mythology and the new superheroes are surfers, united together with the local fishermen... check it out...

Our final stop on our journey south was Kovalam in Kerala state. We spent our last month facilitating photography and stop-motion animation workshops with students at Sebastian Indian Social Project, a second-chance education school for at-risk youth from neighboring fishing villages. We had the most awesome time!

We even got to skateboard with the kids as part of the Kovalam Skate Club, an initiative to keep students coming to school through the power of play and understanding momentum, balance, and resilience.

Little skater, Achu (6 years old).

We also had the amazing opportunity to facilitate a documentary and photojournalism workshop with the girls at TSSS, a social engagement program targeting at-risk youth in nearby fishing communities around Kerala's capital of Trivandrum.

We started the process by calling a "town hall" style meeting to learn what interested the students and what environmental and development issues were pressing the local communities.

We then divided into a film crew and photography team to produce a story on a factory that was leaking toxic waste into the ocean, creating an acid effect that was driving away all the fish and creating respiratory problems among the local community. The girls and some boys learned how to use the cameras and the stages of storyboarding.

We then returned to the classroom to learn the steps of post-production!

We made the most incredible team.

Until next time, India!!!

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