Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Somehow Media Can Change the World

2 totally different projects - some similarities - some differences - with the same basic belief: "Somehow Media Can Change the World"

I found out about this first one after I watched the award winning documentary Born into Brothels. Brothels tells the story of Zana Briski who went to pohograph in the red light district of Calcutta, India. As a result of her challenges she faced capturing the city (largely because of the illegal activity), she begins to teach the children born of prostitutes to take pictures. She trains the kids, provides them with all the tools they need. And from there she tries to manipulate as many opportunities for these kids that she can to get them out of the brothels. One of the primary things she does is sell the children's pictures world wide and passes the money on to the kids.

Out of this has formed a small organization called Kids with Cameras. This group that manage this group is not really interested in rapid expansion, but keeping their mission pure as Zana's vision is expanded as they are now trying to set up workshops in Haiti, Jerusalem & Cairo.

Similarly, but definitly differently, I heard of a company in the February issue of Fast Company called Witness. Witness is co-founded by Peter Gabriel and it's goal is to strengthen local activist by providing activist & human rights groups with equipment and training to capture their message on film.

I think both of these concepts are very interesting, and if nothing less exciting to see how people who want to change the world see how they can use media, even it's rawest forms to capture something powerful in a visual way. This is how they are changing the world.

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