The Story of ‘Burgz Stories’

Burgz Stories was a collaboration between LOVE (Leave Out Violence), Digital Literacy Project of Atwater Library and Computer Centre and Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre.  We first connected with LOVE in the fall and immediately knew that we should work on a project together. Thanks to support from Programme Inclusion et innovation we designed a combined program to work with youth from Little Burgundy and downtown Montreal. We did two eight week sessions. These sessions were held both at the Atwater Library and at Tyndale Saint-Georges Community Centre. Both Digital Literacy Project and LOVE co-taught each session with one or the other taking the lead.

Participants worked on telling their stories in various media. LOVE lent the youth digital cameras for the entire period so they could document whatever they wished about  their lives. The Digital Literacy Project let some of the participants use a vintage Lomo film camera so that they could blend digital and analogue media and explore the magic of each. We worked with many techniques:

– digital and film photography
– digital photo manipulation (photoshop,
– animated GIF and video production
– writing workshops
– soundtracks
We were all very impressed by the aesthetic maturity of the participants and their dedication to their work and we can’t wait to work together again in the near future.

During these sessions, LOVE Executive Director Olivier Tsai passed away quite unexpectedly. Olivier’s energy and openness to this collaboration was the main reason this project came together. He will be missed very much and I believe that he would have appreciated the work the youth produced.


Digital multiple exposures:

double angel


 Click on this pic to see Angel’s animated gif:



“I like taking pictures outside. There is more room to do things like cartwheels and there is a lot of things you can take pictures of. Inside, I liked doing the double exposures in Photoshop. I even did double exposures for some of my friends. I liked this workshop because I got to take pictures. I’ve always wanted to take pictures but I never had a camera.” — Angel, resident portrait photographer

Digital Double exposure at the Atwater Library.

“My favorite part of the workshop was using the lomo camera and my own 35mm camera. There is something special about film – having an actual picture in your hand. When you print them up in a gloss format it comes out very clean. The double exposures I did came out pretty cool too. I like taking landscapes because it can capture everything at once. I’m drawn to the people in city-scapes – everyone looks different in their own natural environment. But I also like taking close-ups. And having to wait a week to see them is tiring but very worth it. I like digital too, because it’s very fast. A mix of the two is best case scenario. The other part of the workshop I liked was the tutorials in Photoshop and editing both my film and digital.” –Zach, mad photographer extraordinaire

Montage of photos taken with a Lomo camera: