WHO WE ARE
We are a passionate group of different professionals who believe in the power of the image to achieve social transformation. Our view has nowhere been expressed better than by the Chinese proverb: “One picture is worth ten thousand words.” Through photography and visual media, we interpret and communicate the everyday reality of our surroundings. And, we will endeavor to document those realities from the point of view of the subjects of our work while remembering that there is an unavoidable link between an image and its photographer and that visual media necessarily partakes of the photographer’s objective and subjective point of view.
TOWARDS A NEW ETHIC
“Changing the world is no longer a choice we can make, but a call we must answer.” Howard W. Buffett, Executive Director, Howard G. Buffett Foundation
We hope that our fidelity to complete accuracy and empathy in selecting and depicting our subjects will encourage development of a stronger sense of ethics among social documentary photographers and videographers working in Georgia. We strongly believe that it is time for media representatives in Georgia’s to expend additional effort and devote additional thought to their responsibilities to the broader Georgian culture and society within which they operate. Moreover, we advocate an ethic which insists that cameras – upon which journalists depend for their livelihoods – be used, in all cases, to serve broader truths as opposed to the reiteration of stereotypes for “news” which is generally found in our papers and television screens and the “art” that is generally found in our galleries. Hence, thought the image we are the link between the NGO’s, think tanks, visual media documentalists and the society:
- Supporters and promoters of communications via visual media in Georgia (Caucasus)
- A source of alternative information for what is not usually communicated by mass media
- Reporters of social problems while maintaining positive attitudes and offer alternatives
- Supporters of similarly focused non – profit or think tank institutions
- A public resource which increases citizen’s participation in social uplift by informing, educating and interpreting existing but unknown or tabooed realities
- A bridge between the institutions, artists,reporters and civil society
WHAT WE DO
We actively solicit proposals for projects, which meet our criteria. And because we strongly believe that what’s not shared is lost, we will promote the widest possible dissemination of the output of those projects though reporters, NGO´s, “think tanks”, government, web sites, galleries and elsewhere. In this regard, we anticipate licensing the reproduction of funded work wherever doing so meets criteria including but not limited to responsible exhibition and non-profit distribution. (We note, however, that we will need to consider the terms upon which such licenses are issued based on, among other things, the rights and preferences of photographers and photojournalists and the subjects of funded work).
We do not expect that our project will be universally welcomed. As Albert Einstein observed: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Regardless, we are eager to support alternative, independent ways of revealing and distributing innovative visual proposals, allowing objective reflections about social outcasts and contemporary reality. In time, moreover, we anticipate that our work will elevate the level of Georgian social photojournalism generally and encourage the development of a better-informed and more socially sensitive Georgian public. Jacob August Riis advocated an approach similar to the patient process we envision, noting: “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
Our mission is to “Record humanly, distribute responsibly” Our ministry is, in other words, to instigate and foster realistic but sensitive and socially engaged visual reportages within Georgia by funding, defusing, and exhibiting work addressing social issues and circumstances which will otherwise be neglected or mischaracterized.
- Consulting on social photojournalism and use of the image for social change
- Organizing photo exhibitions
- Edition and production of the documentary reportage
- Social audio-visual project realization and production
- Consulting on visual public education and awareness campaigns
- Contacts with international social media funds and inter-exchange of know how