About Join
About Join
Take aim and Shoot For Peace
Photographer/ECE Yasin Osman helps his neighbourhood the only way he knows how: with his camera.
Yasin Osman is a photographer and early childhood educator based in Toronto, Ontario. In November 2015, he started #ShootForPeace, an initiative that was started to help kids in the Regent Park neighbourhood reclaim their streets from gun violence. Every Sunday, Yasin enlists the help of local Toronto photographers to lead this group of kids, aged between 12 and 16, on a photo walk as they take photos on disposable cameras, cell phones, iPods — anything they have available.
When I started #ShootForPeace back in November 2015, I told the kids: “We’re all here because we love photography. I don’t have cameras for everyone but I promise one day we will. For now, all I can guarantee is that I will help you bring to life all those ideas in your head. Whether if that’s through my own camera, your cellphone or your iPod, we are going to take photos and we won’t stop.”
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I was determined to design this photography-based program in a way that was enjoyable as possible without really having cameras. At first I was worried that the kids wouldn’t be motivated, but as I taught them week after week they would come back more eager to learn. That’s when I realized it was the love for this art that would continue to motivate them, regardless if we had camera equipment or not.

Words cannot describe how the kids felt when they were surprised with the cameras in the above episode of The Creator Class. One of them came up to me and asked tentatively, “Are you sure that we’re allowed to keep them?”. They couldn’t believe it.

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It’s been just over three weeks now since the kids got their own cameras and the whole dynamic of the program has changed. Instead of waiting til our Sunday meetup, the kids are shooting everyday. Sami is practicing shooting video with his camera now. Yasir is his designated School Photographer. Adam and his family are going to visit their home country Palestine, and he’s planning on taking his camera with him to shoot the journey. A month ago, none of this was possible.
I no longer have to come with a plastic bag full of disposables and old cameras and ask the kids to get into groups of 4-5 to share a camera. Now, I have to remind them to charge their batteries and dump their memory cards before coming to class. It’s insane thinking about it, how much has changed.
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I told the kids I never knew for sure that this would happen, but I believed it would and that was one of the biggest lessons the kids took from this experience: If you dream it and believe it, you will achieve it.

What was only a dream a year ago has became reality.

– Yasin Osman

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Canon
Partner
Yasin Osman
Creator
Jamal Burger
Creator
Charlie Lindsay
Creator
Due Pinlac
Director
Chris Unwin
Executive Producer
Travis Richel
Producer
Sarah Best
Producer
Due Pinlac
Cinematographer
Denym Dupont
Partner Manager
Joshua Din
Camera op
Ryan Yusep
Sound Recordist
Due Pinlac
Editor
Helen Nguyen
Editor
Jamal Burger
Photographer
Sharmarke Abdi
Photographer