As an organisation that works with a visual medium to get the voices of thousands of marginalised communities to the world, Video Volunteers is always looking for ways to expand into media more than just video.
A fantastic opportunity came knocking on our door early in October 2013 when we were invited to present at the Delhi Photo Festival. In its second year now, this festival has fast become one of the ‘must-attends’ in Indian and international photography circuits.
VV was going to present the photography projects of five of our Community Correspondents who took part in the VV-Magnum photography training in 2013. The experience was exciting for us as well as the audience that comprised of amateur and professional photographers.
While most of the photos from the VV-Magnum project are excellent, many wouldn’t get a second look by critics under ordinary circumstances. In that case it was heartening to see these photos being so well received.
“In a profession obsessed with lighting, angles, compositions and what not, these photos are refreshingly different. The interesting thing about each of these projects is that the story behind the photos, that of the CCs, is as riveting as the photo itself”, said photographer Sohrab Hura who had trained the Community Photographers along with Olivia Arthur in January and March 2013.
We often ask ourselves how the work we do can bring more people on board from different walks of life—activists, writers, film-makers and so on. Apart from meeting brilliant visual artists this was also an opportunity to meet people with whom we wanted to work with more. Our second presentation was an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two realms that we tread between—activism and visual documentation.
VV along with five other organisations including Poorest Areas Civil Society Program, Amnesty International India, Chintan, Centre for Science and Environment and National Campaign for Dalit and Human Rights conducted a session on under-represented issues in India. The panellists made a case for photographers to cover issues in India like Dalit rights, Forced Evictions, Migrant Rights, etc.
The idea behind this was that organisations working on the ground have the access to information and resources while the visual artists have the ability to capture these stories and present them to a wider audience. How great it would be if both supported each other!
The session and the Festival both, were a reminder and a reiteration of the belief that photos (and video) have the potential to be used as powerful change agents.
If you’re a photographer interested in volunteering or collaborating with Video Volunteers, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Video Volunteers was awarded at a gala function held at BAFTA, London.