5 Organizations Align to Diversify Photojournalism, Launch Survey

Posted by on Wednesday August 23, 2017 | Photojournalism, Social Media/Web

© Ayesha Vellani/Majority World

© Ayesha Vellani/Majority World

Five organizations committed to making the photojournalism community more inclusive are joining forces. Reclaim, the umbrella organization, is comprised of Women Photograph, The Everyday Projects, the new photo agency Native, Majority World and the yet-to-be-launched publication Minority Report. They announced yesterday that they are “working together to diversify our community of visual storytellers, making sure that the lens through which we interpret our world are as diverse as the people and places we hope to document.” To start, they’re circulating a survey, and asking photojournalists, photo editors, curators and other members of the photojournalism community around the world to answer questions about their work and career paths. The goal is to understand the barriers to inclusion of more diverse perspectives in documentary photography.

You can find the survey at bit.ly/reclaimsurvey

The organizers say “every effort will be made to maintain each participants’ anonymity.” Participants have to provide an email address, but are not required to submit their names.

The organizations that form Reclaim strive to elevate photographers underrepresented in the media. Minority Report is an as-yet-to-be-launched magazine that will highlight “the lived experience of and work produced by people of color.” Majority World, an agency founded by Shahidul Alam of the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka, provides publications access to high-quality images by local photographers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Native is a new platform that “represents, nurtures and highlights visual journalists from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.” Women Photograph is an initiative started by by photographer Daniella Zalcman, to elevate the voices of female and gender non-conforming visual journalists; it includes a database of 500 female and non-binary photojournalists. The Everyday Projects, which includes such Instagram feeds as @EverydayAfrica, @EverydayMiddleEast and @EverydayLaFrontera, has used the social media platform to highlight images that challenge misperceptions of multiple cultures.

Photo editor and doctoral candidate Tara Pixley, who is working with Shaminder Dulai to launch Minority Report (and wrote the article “Why We Need More Photographers and Photo Editors of Color” in PDN’s September issue on Diversity), told The New York Times that the survey is a first step in guiding their effort to make the photo industry more inclusive. “We need detailed information about who gets into photojournalism, who stays and who succeeds, as well as what are the advantages and disadvantages that certain groups have in the industry.”

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