Archive for the ‘affect/effect Series’ Category
Affect/Effect: Photographs That Create Change – Susan Meiselas discusses all potential of photography
“We have to know about each other. Photography gives us that opportunity.”
This is an amazing video where Magnum photographer and Open Society Institute – Moving Walls co-curator Susan Meiselas talks about the impact that photography can make on social consciousness. Her personal website is also very interesting as it includes an audio component on every page with her commentary on her work and photography in general. The Open Society Institute is an extremely important resource for documentary photographers with grants, fellowships, exhibitions, online multimedia and portfolios, and a resource center for a multitude of social programs.
Affect/Effect: Photographs That Create Change – Phil Borges, A child in a far away photograph is given an education
In 2007, FiftyCrows presented an exhibition called Women Empowered, a photography project by Phil Borges, who combined images and stories of courageous women from developing countries. Rooted in his astonishment for the high level of gender discrimination around the world, he wanted to offer examples of women “whose bravery and determination allowed them to move from victim to leader, and speak to the universal themes of courage, empowerment and human rights.”
Another incredible project from Phil, entitled Enduring Spirit was created in conjunction with Amnesty International’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Once again, each of his images was accompanied by a short story about the person and what they do in their daily lives. One of Phil’s images, of a six-year-old girl in Ethiopia struck a man named George so deeply that he was compelled to extend his help from around the world. Yet another moving example of how photography can create change in the world through an individual image.
Buzayan story is as follows: She is six-years-old and lives with her mother and three older sisters in a small Ethiopian village. Her father took a job as a policeman in a neighboring town and later abandoned the family for another woman. Even though it is very expensive for her, Buzayan’s mother is committed to keeping all the children in school. When I asked Buzayan about kindergarten, she squealed with delight and started jumping up and down.
When George saw the image of Buzayan in the book titled “Enduring Spirit” he was so moved by the image of Buzayan that he felt he wanted to help her. He contacted us for information on how to reach her but we were only able to give him the name of the village she lived in. George’s health did not allow him to travel but he had a friend who was visiting Ethiopia and was willing to try to find Buzayan. The effort was successful. George was able to make arrangements to help cover the cost of Buzayans education which he did for several years.
Barcelona based photographer, Lourdes Segade offers a story to the affect/effect Series that highlights how one photo essay can catalyze different media sources to produce stories on the same topic. In turn, this generates greater awareness about an issue by expanding the viewing population. Lourdes speaks about this cause and effect as an important factor in order to really make an impact.
“The story that I wanted to show was that a ‘small’ (as they call themselves) can be as good a mom as a non-handicapped woman. It wasn’t easy to find a dwarf mother with a little child but the president of one achondroplasy association in Spain gave me the telephone number of Lorena, the mom with whom I shared lots of time and experiences while shooting my story. Three years later we still keep in touch.
Lorena, a woman in her early thirties, was then unemployed and devoted to her child, Adrián, a 3 year-old wild child. Every day was an adventure with him. I went to the Canary Islands and spent 20 days with them. The story was published one year after we returned. Magazine ‘Yo Dona’ gave six pages to it and also a short video of the child made from short pieces I had recorded. They also asked me to write about my personal experience with that family for the website.
I wanted to let people know about achondroplasy and show that ‘dwarfs’ live as good a life as non-handicapped people. I never expected the reaction that I received from publishing the story. The weeks following the publication of my story, Lorena received calls that another magazine wanted to interview her and reporters from a TV station wanted to follow her family for a day. A handball team wanted to shoot a photo session with the members of the achondroplasy association for their annual calendar in order to create funds for the group.
The association members were very happy, and so was I because I had caused the effect of making more people aware. When I shoot, I tell stories that I think should be known but I never expect my photos to lead to any reaction. Although it was not one photo creating a change for Lorena, the photo essay catalyzed a greater awareness and support for ‘smalls’ in society. By having other media groups produce more stories about dwarfs the net becomes wider and wider of the number of people understanding the issue.”
Newsha Tavakolianas was born and raised in Tehran and started working for the Iranian press when she was 16 years old. She has covered stories in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Yeman. Newsha’s focus in her own country on personal issues of history, religion, and woman’s rights offers deep and powerful imagery of life in Iran. Newsha is represented by Polaris Images and is a member of Eve Photographers.
Here is a very interesting article in the Digital Journalist which Newsha wrote about photographing the recent earthquake in Pakistan. She ponders the issue that I explore in the affect/effect Series of if photography can create social change for the people that see the images and the people that are in the images.