Stay Strong


On view:  February 27 & 28, 1-6pm
Opening reception: Saturday, February 27, 4-6pm

Marline Nkounkou came to Brooklyn after an unstable childhood in West Africa where she witnessed widespread violence against women and children. Today, she is working with immigrant youth at Atlas:DIY in Sunset Park and is a Fellow at FiveMyles through a program funded by the Brooklyn Community Foundation's Invest in Youth initiative. 

At FiveMyles, she will present the results of the past 9 months of fellowship: an exhibition about Atlas:DIY and Sanctuary for Families, entitled Stay Strong.

I think that only a youth is fully able to understand another youth's challenges in life, because we all go through it. Even though adults were once teenagers, they cannot always understand the challenges that we youth go through, because we all grow up in different periods of time and in different environments. It can also be hard for a young person in difficulty to trust and talk to an adult about their own challenges. But I know by experience that many NGOs exist to help and support young people in difficulty, and I know that talking to these adults can save one's life.

So I decided to use photography to show people the different activities that happen at these NGOs. I believe that if people are able to look at the pictures they might realize for themselves the big positive impact that these different organizations can have in their life without me speaking. These photographs can be a powerful tool to help save life, and to educate my fellow friends, family, youths about the reason why they should not be afraid to reach out for help when dealing with difficult challenges in their lives.    - Marline Nkounkou

The Invest in Youth Initiative is a program organized and funded by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. It creates 10-month fellowship for 20 youth paired with top youth-serving nonprofits in Brooklyn. Fellows work as a group and gather monthly to advise on the Brooklyn Community Foundation Youth strategy.