For over 30 years, First Exposures has witnessed how empathy, creativity, and a supportive community can cultivate resilience in the young people we serve. But we have also witnessed how instability, loss, and violence can greatly hinder them as well. At First Exposures, our mission is to not just support youth but to empower them to use their art to speak to the issues that matter most to them.
With the unrelenting escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel over the past 100 days, our hearts are with the children who have lost their homes, loved ones, and lives in Gaza and Israel. We cannot imagine the terror that is being felt by all who are trapped without regular access to food, water, or electricity under the threat of bombardment for the past months,
let alone, all of these years.
Unlike any other time in history, the power of photography is playing an unprecedented role in fighting against such devastation. From courageous photojournalists to everyday people aching for their voices to be heard, we are seeing in real-time their tireless efforts to shed light on such large-scale destruction and inspire the global community to take action. Despite this war being far from the Bay Area, its impacts are being felt by our very mentees. They have not only expressed concern about the ongoing violence but have also had family members directly affected, faced harassment and marched in school walk-outs calling for an immediate ceasefire.
As a youth-centered organization that prioritizes compassion, justice, and using photography as creative expression, we want our solidarity to be not just of words but of action.
To this end, in discussion with our Youth Advisory Board, First Exposures is selling 15 signed prints of “Where Will You Be When History Looks Back” by former mentee and artist resident, Frida Calvo Huerta. Each 12x18” print is $150 printed on 100% cotton photo rag, originally printed to mark First Exposures 30 years. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Palestine Children's Relief Fund.
Our aim for choosing this artwork is to support the youth who are continuing to endure this war and to act as a reminder for all of us to always be on the side of justice. We hope you join us in supporting the well-being of young people during this time of great uncertainty.