September 09, 2012

Visa Pour L'Image - the end of an amazing week

The Professional Week of Visa Pour L'Image is now over. I've met so many extraordinary people who are passionate about humanity, about telling stories that otherwise would be unknown, important stories like the eWaste crisis that runs the very great risk of crippling the planet - US photographer Stanley Greene's work on this subject is so significant and highlights the cost of our consumption of e
Gadgets. And he has risked his own health to tell it becoming ill after only a short time in an environment in which so many desperate people work every day to eke out a living. Asked what outcome he wants he said "I just want to take the 5 year old children and the pregnant women out of the equation. I know I can't stop it, this is big business, but these people are continually exposed to the most toxic environments as they try to get enough money to survive." 

I will be interviewing Stanley and others in the coming months - a small contribution from me, but by telling their stories hopefully their messages will spread. These photojournalists who work in conditions and environments I can barely comprehend, often putting their own lives and health at risk, are grossly undervalued by a news media driven by bean counters and corporates. 

I have been brought to tears by some of the work I've seen this week, but elated by those I've met who have reaffirmed my belief in the power of storytelling.