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The Big Picture

IT'S ME Dejane Salmon Lawrence, 17, poses with her Inside Out poster. The project was started by artist JR . STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS; STEPHANE CARDINALE—CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

BROOKLYN, New York—A truck that looks like a camera is parked outside of a high school. The vehicle belongs to the Inside Out Project. As part of this art project, groups of people all over the world have their portraits taken. Then the pictures are pasted up for people to see.

The Inside Out Project was started by JR. He’s a French street artist. During his 2011 TED Talk, JR made a wish: “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project.”

JR says that people can convey convey PW_CONVEY GHETEA FLORIN/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES to communicate (verb) A dog can convey its excitement by wagging its tail. a message by putting their portraits on display. Sometimes, the message is obvious. At other times, it’s left to viewers to interpret interpret PW_INTERPRET ALINA555—GETTY IMAGES to figure out or explain the meaning of (verb) Sometimes people interpret my shyness as unfriendliness. .

More than 300,000 people in more than 140 countries have joined an Inside Out “action.” This includes actions at 423 schools. School actions are important, JR told TIME for Kids. “I’ve been surprised by projects that were made by kids,” he says.

Students In Action

On a fall afternoon, students at the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance will take part in Inside Out. One by one, they climb into the truck’s photo booth to have their picture taken. Their faces come out of a slot in the truck’s side on black-and-white posters.

STUDIO ON WHEELS This Inside Out Project truck houses a photo booth and printer.


Dannielle Darbee is the school principal. She climbs into the booth. The students cheer. “There’s a positive buzz today,” Darbee says after having her picture taken. She notes that the school doesn’t have a regular art teacher. “So when we get an opportunity to do something artistic, we take it,” she says.

Later, students help cover a wall with the posters. “Put this up first!” says Angelina Santiago, 16. She hands a poster to Jaime Scatena. He works for the Inside Out Project. Scatena steps on a ladder. He pastes Principal Darbee’s image on the wall. Angelina says their action will show the history of the school to future students. “I hope they keep [the project] going,” she adds.

Funding is available for schools that want to hold their own Inside Out Project action. What will yours be about?


LOOKING UP People in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, walk on portraits produced by JR for the Inside Out Project, in 2016. The installation celebrates the Summer Olympics, which the city hosted.


ON DISPLAY Students at Ottoson Middle School, in Arlington, Massachusetts, participate in the Inside Out Project in 2016. Their action is meant to take a stand against racism and celebrate diversity within the school community.