Film & photography
Films and photography have the potential to cut through cultural & language barriers and to tell stories and capture and express the essence of a moment in time with a depth and truthfulness that words often cannot. It’s a means to document, to share, to preserve, to make visible, to emphasize, to transform, to teach and to learn, to communicate emotions, context, fear and silence. Film and photography can be a means to imprint, to explore possibilities, to express beauty and to mirror back to the person in front of the lens – capturing details and shining light on the hidden and overlooked. Pictures are powerful, impressive and can touch people profoundly. Hence integrity is so important.
Photography can also manipulate, distort realities, deceive and harm. Ethical photography is authentic, honest and transparent. It requires a merging with the environment and a deep connection with the person, animal, plant, landscape, building etc. in front of the lens which comes from a place of silence. It has no agenda but is full of openness to letting nature reveal itself. The images may be manipulated for artistic purposes, to emphasize a detail or deepen a contrast, but these changes are laid open to the viewer in full transparency and do not distort. What is shared below provides deeper insight into the ethical, high-frequency use of these wonderful media. There are many inspiring people and projects out there which drive positive transformation. BUT…
What about camera technology – the use of conflict minerals and toxic substances, the stand towards extractivism which exploits, abuses and destroys local peoples and ecosystems? What about fair, healthy work conditions, or e-waste management? Sadly, we are not aware of a single ethical producer of film & photography equipment. There is a lack of supply chain transparency, conflict minerals policies and toxin policies across the entire industry. No mention of workers’ rights in a business sector (electronics) which is notorious for human rights abuses. Many companies support and supply the trophy hunting and human surveillance industries – the latter ignore and rapidly take away our rights to freedom and privacy – producing devices specifically for smart cities, facial recognition etc.. For a more detailed, easy to read analysis take a look at this Ethical Consumer article. If you are aware of an emerging ethical producer of camera equipment, please let us know. There is a strong need for change. Meanwhile enjoy the fascinating projects below.
International League of Conservation Photographers
Global community of professional photographers & filmmakers driving conservation impact through ethical visual storytelling. Supporting conservation of environment & culture by sharing photos, films & articles with politicians, changemakers, on social media etc. Embodying transparency, honesty, integrity & respect of wildlife & local communities. Standing up for professionalism in photography by minimising negative impact on documented spaces & subjects, minimising manipulation of imagery such that it never alters essential content, misrepresents actual events, deceives the audience. Full disclosure of creative manipulation. Collaboration with ethical writers, editors, media experts, program partners, conservation groups.
Mario Cardona Lang
Incredible photographer & filmmaker, expressing the unseen, telling authentic stories through images by forming a deep, intimate connection with camera & environment, ‘seeing’ & moving from the inside out using much more than the eye. Expressing truth which can only be found in that silence & which transforms everyone involved, merging communication & therapy. Meticulous attention to detail & ability to grasp the essence of the moment. Transformational coaching also available. Using his skills to drive & be the transformation of this planet in these times.
UK & worldwide
Designing projects of participatory photography, digiatal storytelling & self-advocacy for socially excluded groups to give everyone opportunity to represent themselves. Provide consultancy, training, materials & resources. Merging arts, media, development, campaigning & social change to deliver projects that remove cultural & linguistic barriers, enable voice, build skills & resilience. Deliver advocacy & work towards sustainable change. Addressing issues around gender inequality, mental health, racism, sexual exploitation of children, food insecurity etc. Living ethical, inclusive photography.
World-wide natural history & documentary photography. Telling stories by taking images of larger stories. Face of National Geographic’s Pure Photography channel. Associate Fellow of the ILCP. Offers portfolio reviews & Jason Edwards Photography Scholarship. Valuing authenticity & efficient minimalism. Also an environmentalist, animal scientist, keynote speaker & author.
Tomas van Houtryve
Artist, filmmaker, photographer & photojournalist using a wide range of techniques. Revealing the unseen & unnoticed. Remembering forgotten history. Challenging our notions of identity, memory & power. Interweaving investigative journalism, philosophy & metaphor. Tomas van Houtryve questions what too many people don’t & what needs to be questioned.
Chris Jordan photographic arts
Combining beauty with documenting & bring awareness to destruction of nature, scale & consequences of human waste, social injustices, consumerism & quiet revolutions through photographic art & film. Embodying empathy, questioning our reality. New projects explore the subtle beauty of the living world, the miracle & mystery of life. Also an activist & public speaker.
His film ALBATROSS:
Documentary filmmaker who has produced incredible films about honeybees, using wildfires to restore nature, traditional sheep farming. Telling visual stories that illustrate solutions to complex issues. The film Rewilding Honeybees won Best Documentary Short at Sonoma International Film Festival & was finalist at the Global Sustainability Awards. Cameron is studying documentary at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism & is freelancing as a videographer.
Navajo Nation, USA
Navajo Nation filmmaker & TV director who masters the conveying of indigenous life, shattering romanticisation. Challenging religious beliefs, spotlighting the issues of drugs & suicides in indigenous communities & internal battles between traditional & colonial ways of life. His TV show Reservation Dogs, shot on the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma, illustrates the ennui of rez life & features an all-Indigenous cast, indigenous producers, writers & directors. Supporting Native youth with realizing their goals.
Two Row Productions
Mohawk Nation, Canada
Sharing empowering stories of resilient Indigenous women – owned by Mohawk visual artist, filmmaker & culture holder Katsitsionni Fox. Documenting traditional passage rites from Mohawk girls to women, the hidden role of indigenous women in early days of Women’s Rights Movement, Wampum – native diplomacy & regeneration & protection of heirloom seeds. Standing for racial justice. Amplifying Indigenous creatives working on innovative projects rooted in culture, environment & story.
Navajo & Hopi Nations, USA
Navajo & Hopi filmmaker, sociocultural anthropologist & athlete. Documentaries & collaborative works around indigenous food sovereignty & health, significance of land to indigenous peoples, Native youth projects, indigenous international repatriation & anthropology of media. Fiction & non-fiction. Cultural Resources Coordinator for Utah Diné Bikéyah, a non-profit with all Indigenous Board protecting traditional cultures & ancestral lands. Digital storytelling projects in close collaboration with indigenous communities.
Syria & Lebanon
Independent supporter & producer of documentaries & short & experimental films, giving young Syrian filmmakers a voice to express their truth & creativity. Questioning & redefining documentary filmmaking, reaffirming our right to speak freely. Project funding & specialised training courses on documentary filmmaking. Breaking through the falsities & propaganda of stereotyped, distorted global media outlets. Creating an audiovisual culture, a movement & a community for exchange of expertise & interaction between young Syrian documentary filmmakers.
The Esperanza Project
Bilingual online magazine & media empowerment project (Spanish & English) covering social & environmental grassroots change-makers in the Americas – giving a voice to an already existing new high-frequency world. Lead by filmmakers, writers & journalists from Mexico, Argentina & Australia. Strong focus on indigenous knowledge & communities fighting for their very lives in the face of unregulated logging, mining, pesticide use, state violence etc.
Short documentaries, moving images & dramas by Nepalese independent, indigenous filmmaker, artist & mountaineer Asmita Shrish. Capturing authentic, meaningful stories deeply rooted in local culture, circumstances, feeling & environment such as a mountain school in remote Afghanistan, earthquake-hit mountains of Nepal, misplaced Nepalese old age immigrant elders etc. Anchoring honest current identities & narratives.
Audiovisual storyteller merging documentary & art, photojournalism & freelance photography. Giving deep insights into Ecuador incl. rose production, every-day life, food & chocolate production, pet sterilisation, craft, refugees, rainforest protection, ancestral Kichwa knowledge etc. Author of several photo books.
Netherlands & worldwide
Challenging inequality, exploitation, destruction & misinformation through visual storytelling & slow journalism by local photographers. Working towards awareness, equality combining skills of a wide range of partners. Approach rooted in local circumstances. Giving a voice to people collecting waste as a source of livelihood in Nigeria, “Women of the City” in Douala, Cameroon, racism in South Africa, the meaning of photographs in Togo, climate change in India, people dealing with electronic waste in Ghana etc.
Capturing the change in film – small production company for resiliency-focused documentaries. Featuring pioneers in areas of community, natural farming, food sovereignty, regenerating landscapes, alternative economies, health, indigenous rights. Community-funded, donation-based. Also podcast about same topics.
High-quality, deep, passionate, authentic films which reflect true beauty & what it means to be human & a part of nature. Donation-based via Patreon. Freely shared for inclusivity & to step away from old business structures.
Vídeo nas Aldeias / Video in the Villages
On ISUMA TV
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