David Blocher graduated from Duke University in 2004. As a student, his photography focused on American consumerism and Durham’s changing cultural landscape. During this time, he worked with the Scrap Exchange in Durham teaching the principles of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” by facilitating workshops in which children were encouraged to expand their minds as they transformed industrial scrap into abstract art. He also taught photography classes and helped direct a summer art camp at the Art Center in Carrboro.
As a Jessica Jennifer Cohen/Lewis Hine Fellow, David worked with the non-governmental organization Persatuan Guru Tadika (PGT) in Taiping, Malaysia. PGT emphasizes preschool education for the children of Tamil workers on plantations in Malaysia and is noted for incorporating Tamil traditions into its educational format. In addition to helping in the preschool classrooms and teaching weekly photography lessons, David curated multimedia exhibitions about estate life through photographs and voice recordings. The exhibitions are intended to spark community discussions about estate life and give a broader context to the children’s photographic work.