Frame Your Story's Mission is to use photography as a tool to empower refugee youth, inspire global connections and strengthen communities. Project Creator, Beatrice Schachenmayr, facilitates photo workshops where the participants are offered digital Canon point-and-shoot cameras and lessons on how to create coherent photos with a personal voice. For many students, this workshop serves as the initial exposure to using digital point and shoot cameras.
Project Workshops present opportunities to
Inspire self-expression with hands-on activities: photography and journaling
Encourage youth to plan for regular meetings and offer occasions to explore the city of Berlin
Introduce new topics and technology that are fun, inspiring, and beneficial to personal growth
Project Visions grow with each workshop. Beatrice envisions youth from all walks of life around the world collaborating and learning from each other through the platform of visual literacy. Students will contribute to the creation of a global story that will stimulate the lives of their fellow youth and help to develop a community in which the stories of refugee children are supported and validated.
THIS IS MY WORLD: A Photobook by Refugee Youth is a guide to discovering new ways of seeing. The young photographers, ages 7-25, from Syria, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Armenia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Egypt, invite you to find patterns between the photographs paired together, with one image then paired with another, and on through the book. Captured in Istanbul and Berlin, these photographs explore what it means to be an observer in a new place and how to draw connections between different points of view.
The book begins and ends with participant quotations that express what photography and exploration mean to the young storytellers included in this book. From one page to the next, the sequence encourages you to connect with each photographer’s perspective, find and articulate the similarities and differences between the images, and engage in a learning experience that is investigative, imaginative, and constantly changing.
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Beatrice Schachenmayr is an aspiring art therapist who currently resides and studies in Cork, Ireland. Her work with Frame Your Story project began in 2015 when she created and led the first project in Istanbul, Turkey with youth who are displaced. From Istanbul to Berlin, she has collaborated with numerous organizations, received several awards, and has engaged over 100 youth using photography as an approach to self-expression. "Creating a space where young people can share their perspectives and develop their own solutions to challenges really inspires me." Frame Your Story Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that offers opportunities for youth who are displaced to cultivate self-expression through photography, journaling, and exploration.
Frame Your Story is currently based in Berlin, Germany.
"Beatrice demonstrates tremendous observational skills and already shows very good analytic skills regarding the behaviors of children and possible interventions that can be done. Her calm, sensitive, and reflective character positively influences the atmosphere and has a calming effect on the mainly restless refugee children. She is interested in every single child and finds a connection with each of them in that present moment. In my opinion, and with the experience of having worked for more than five years in the field of art therapy, Beatrice is an exceptionally talented person, who will be a great Art Therapist and have a positive impact on other people's lives." -Maxi Schölzel, Art Therapist
"It's been now about a year that I am in a professional work relationship with Beatrice and my experience can be expressed best by enriching. The passion and effort Beatrice has for her work and for the people are very inspiring. She led a photography project in a refugee shelter where I have been working and gave many people the chance to fill their days with creativity and spark their fascination for photography. She has contributed to helping a group of young people to explore their new surroundings through a lens, and through that, assisted them in their arrival process. After the closing of that particular shelter, Beatrice and I continue to support each other's work and her continuous dedication led to a photography exhibition, in which newcomers were able to present their angles on Berlin, so that insights of an arrival process in a new culture found their way into the society of Berlin. Beatrice is a dedicated artist and her knowledge includes leading social, educations, and therapeutic group processes. Hopefully, we will be able to continue for many more years here in Berlin or anywhere else in the world." -Carlo Schenk, Projektleitung Kompass Program, IsraAID Germany, e.V.
"Beatrice has a burning desire to work hands-on and sees beauty in what other’s may find unappealing. She inspires me with her “what if?” personality, and I have full faith that her creative drive and altruistic personality will continue to touch others throughout the world." -Chelsea Olson, Sage Therapeutics