Scarborough Beach is dead these days. “The MRA [Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority] are renovating the beachfront,” Sarah Landro says. “It’ll be really cool when it’s done, but it’s blocked off the entire beach. That area’s become really quiet. I think a lot of the local businesses have felt it.”

Landro and her mate Jacqueline Warrick are bringing the beach back to life this Saturday with a one-off event, Camera Story Art + Beach Party. Camera Story is their not-for-profit organisation, which runs camera-skills workshops. In line with that, this event’s main aim is to teach kids basic camera skills and visual literacy. But there’s plenty to attract big people, too.

Gage Roads is supplying beer for a pop-up bar. Two DJs – The Mothership Connection and DJ Jim (of the Soul Purpose radio show) ¬– will spin upbeat funk and soul.

Throughout the day there will be iPhone photography workshops and Instagram competitions. You can also play life-sized foosball, take photos with an enormous digital camera, paint all over a wrecked car and belly flop down a slip ‘n’ slide.

“This is a community-engagement festival to kick off summer and bring people down to Scarborough again,” Landro says. The party isn’t a fundraiser – just a continuation of what Camera Story has been doing since 2013.
Landro and Warrick founded the not-for-profit after seeing the plight of impoverished people in Bangladesh first-hand. They run mentoring programs and provide vocational training in vulnerable and low socio-economic areas. So far it’s visited communities in Bangladesh, India and regional WA, including the Kimberley.

“Everyone has access to a camera. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world,” Landro says. “Everyone has a smartphone or some sort of device that takes pictures. We’ve been in some of the poorest slums in the world, and everyone had a phone.

Some of the program’s WA participants have gone on to sell their prints in local galleries. For others, it’s just a useful way to build confidence and increase general technological literacy.

Camera Story Art + Beach Party will be held at Brighton Reserve, The Esplanade, Scarborough from 2pm–9pm, November 26, 2016. Entry is free.