photography

O fotógrafo Tomás Cajueiro tem um projeto ousado – percorrer o Brasil mostrando as diferentes faces do país a seu próprio povo. O projeto Retratos Brasileiros, que faz uma edição especial pelo estado de São Paulo, é resultado de um trabalho de diferentes fotógrafos que viajaram pelo Brasil e pelo exterior desde 2014 em busca de brasileiros. Além das imagens, o projeto também conta com relatos sobre cada personagem retratado, exposições e palestras sobre fotografia. O Horyou blog entrevistou Tomás Cajueiro, que conta sobre a história do projeto e sua inspiração nas causas sociais.

Foto: Tomás Cajueiro
Foto: Tomás Cajueiro

Como surgiu a ideia do projeto Retratos Brasileiros?

Nasce como uma maneira de colocar um pouco em prática, diversas das reflexões teóricas que eu tive nos meus anos de estudo, sobretudo no mestrado, onde estudei muito identidade nacional e a função do jornalismo e do fotojornalismo como instrumentos de formação de identidade nacional. O brasileiro e o latinoamericano em geral tem uma identidade ainda muito fraca, ainda em construção. O Retratos surge como uma utopia de propiciar uma reflexão que faça o brasileiro pensar quem ele é, quem é o povo brasileiro.

Foto; Tomás Cajueiro
Foto; Tomás Cajueiro

O projeto está em fase de curadoria. Quais são os próximos passos e o plano de divulgação?

A edição 2017 do projeto, que é viabilizado com recursos do ProAC (Programa de Ação Cultural – Estado de São Paulo) está na fase final de curadoria para seleção das imagens que irão compor a exposição e seu catálogo. Serão escolhidas 100 imagens. Os próximos passos serão as exposições em si que devem acontecer em Sorocaba, Araçatuba e Santos. A divulgação acontece pelas redes sociais e assessoria de imprensa.

Como continuidade do projeto, o próximo passo é inscrevê-lo na Lei Rouanet, para que aconteça em nível nacional. Nosso objetivo é voltar o Retratos, a partir do ano que vem, para o Brasil todo, que foi como começarmos. Esperamos fazer isso agora com o financiamento da Lei Rouanet. O objetivo é termos um livro publicado com as próximas imagens, até 2019.

Foto: Érica Dezonne
Foto: Érica Dezonne

Você se sente engajado com questões sociais e de meio ambiente?

A fotografia é uma consequência desse engajamento. Meu engajamento se manifestou através de uma série de trabalhos voluntários que eu sempre fiz. A fotografia, na verdade, nos últimos anos tem se transformado num instrumento que dá voz a esse engajamento social, ela é a consequência. E a maneira através da qual eu acredito que eu consigo dar voz a pessoas que são forçadamente mudas. Sobretudo nesse sistema midiático que a gente vive hoje, bastante mercadológico, muita gente que não vende pauta (jornal) não tem voz.

Com quais causas sociais você se sente mais conectado?

Pessoalmente eu me interesso muito por desigualdade social e inclusão social. São duas causas que me interessam bastante. Gosto muito de trabalhar com pessoas marginais à grande massa da sociedade. Eu acho que o que a gente chama de minoria na verdade é a maioria, são pessoas que não estão no centro do debate sócio-político.

Foto; Daniel Arroyo
Foto; Daniel Arroyo

Na sua opinião, como a arte pode colaborar para construir uma sociedade mais justa?

Acredito que a arte empodera as pessoas, pois gera uma visão crítica, a partir do momento que as tira da zona de conforto. Mexe com um lado do cérebro que não é racional. Acho que faz com que a pessoa tenha a capacidade de pensar mais no abstrato, e a pessoa acaba tendo uma visão de mundo diferente, que não teria se ela ficasse vivendo aquele mundo muito cartesiano que a sociedade põe de frente pra gente. Vivemos em uma sociedade muito pragmática. Acho que a arte é uma maneira de acabar com esse pragmatismo. Assim, as pessoas se tornam mais críticas e fazemos com que a sociedade seja mais justa.

Based in Zurich, Jorge Romero is a Colombian-American photographer with a social good flare and multitasking skills. Alongside his photography project, he also runs a web design company and is nurturing many other projects that will take the best of many years to come. We are happy to feature yet another active Horyou personality in our blog!

Jorge Romero is an active member of our platform
Jorge Romero is an active member of our platform

1. How and when did you become a photographer?

I have creativity in my blood. It started with music while I was growing up, until I realized it’s a crapshoot job. I then Studied Information Systems and got into the corporate world. This is when I started looking for some type of inspiration. I looked to photography. I knew I wanted to create something of my own and, at the same time, stand on my feet doing it. And here I am, self taught in the art of photography over 12 years – and working as a professional photographer for the last 5 years. I now have a startup web design company focusing on small companies and individuals, with photography as one of my services. 

Jorge aims to inspire through his photos
Jorge aims to inspire through his photos

2.   What does photography mean to you?

Photography to me is the art of observing. This means seeing something before it actually happens. Creating something and envisioning it before taking the photograph. Patience is key.

3.  What are your inspiration sources?

My inspiration comes from multiple areas. Traveling, reading peoples stories in life, listening to inspiring speakers, movies, musicians, dancers, nature, and analyzing other photographers’ techniques. Anything that has a creativity element is my inspiration. I harness that when I am behind the camera. 

Shot of the streets of Marrakesh
Shot of the streets of Marrakesh

4.   You create poetic images that give a sense of hope, continuity and optimism. Why did you decide to take this approach?

It’s simple: we need it. It feels good to me and I hope to reciprocate that feeling.

5.   What would you like to achieve as a photographer?

I want to continue inspiring others with my view of life through my lens and I hope to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to educate people on the importance of good photography that has meaning and bring back the quality of a photo that has substance. In our time, we have lost it thanks to the digital camera. 

His works have a sense of continuity and hope
His works have a sense of continuity and hope

6. Do you plan for the images you want to capture beforehand or do you work with an open mind?

I always work with an open mind but sometimes I do not have that luxury when working for some of my clients. For the most part, I make a note on the photos I need for a job or project with open eyes more than open mind. If there is an emotional link with what I observe, then it might be something worth taking a picture of.

7. Do you have a project for 2017 that you would like to share with our community?

A few personal projects. One dealing with a photo series called “Beyond the Frame”. The other is studio work. Working with objects and water on a small scale. The third is a travel series which would probably be towards the end of next year or 2018. In addition, I would like to increase my collaboration with Horyou and its affiliates as regards to the importance of what people are doing around the world. People outside the community need to see and hear more about it.

JRMicro

8.   Horyou’s tagline is dream, inspire and act. What do these words mean to you?

That is a very interesting question because my own tagline is Observe, Create, Inspire. I would tie “dream” with “observe” which to me equates with observing and dreaming about what I think would be a great shot before acting on it. “Act” and “create” go hand in hand. Without it, you end up with nothing to show for your efforts. “Inspire” is what it is all about. What is the point of dream, observe, act, and create if you cannot inspire others with your vision, creativity, and aspirations for doing good. This is what we need more than ever.

Written by Vívian Soares

Jorge Romero’s portfolio: JorgeRomeroPhotography.com

Web Design business: JRPhotoDesign.ch

La primera agencia de fotografos con discapacidad intelectual, “Nos, Why Not?” (NwnPhoto) es un miembro activo de nuestra plataforma Horyou. Mezclando activismo, inclusión social y empoderamiento de sus participantes, el colectivo ha cambiado la vida de muchos fotografos que ganaron visibilidad, perspectivas de trabajo y propósito de vida, además de estimular el debate sobre el arte y la creatividad. Hablamos con su fundador, Felipe Alonso, que hace una reflexión acerca del rol social de la fotografía y comparte sus planes para el futuro del proyecto.

Fotografía de G Trillo
Fotografía de G Trillo

1. ¿Cómo nació la idea de Nos, Why Not?

Hoy en día las personas con discapacidad intelectual siguen discriminadas y excluidas de la sociedad. Esto sucede en el mundo, además hay zonas donde su situación la podemos definir como dramática. Dos de los principales problemas que tiene este colectivo es su empoderamiento y su visibilidad. Para ayudar a solucionar esta situación, la fotografía es genial! Otorga a la persona con discapacidad intelectual el protagonismo y una visibilidad positiva. Si a todo esto, le sumamos la utilización de las redes sociales, con un espíritu de compartir y colaborar, el grupo o el colectivo, adquiere una fuerza considerable.

Los beneficios de la fotografía en las personas con discapacidad intelectual son muy importantes, además del empoderamiento y de la visibilidad, la fotografía les aporta creatividad, les acerca a la cultura, amplía su círculo social, tienen motivación… los cambios que han experimentado, en algunos casos, les ha cambiado la vida. Por todo ello nació NwnPhoto como la primera agencia de fotógrafos con discapacidad intelectual. Formamos en la fotografía a las personas con discapacidad intelectual y creamos o buscamos las condiciones necesarias para que la puedan ejercer. Pensamos en una red internacional de fotógrafos con discapacidad, y un site en la red (plataforma, ecosistema, …) que sea un punto de encuentro entre dichos fotógrafos y la sociedad. Un lugar donde exista una inspiración para que, por una parte, empresas, organismos, ong´s, diseñadores.. y, por la otra parte los fotógrafos con discapacidad,puedan crear lazos de colaboración y obtener un valor para toda la sociedad. Este site será el primer banco de imágenes de fotógrafos con discapacidad.

Fotografía de Dani Bella Ferrol
Fotografía de Dani Bella Ferrol

2. ¿En qué países actúan y cuáles son sus principales proyectos?

Empezamos nuestra actividad en España, donde estamos en 4 ciudades de Galicia (A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, Narón-Ferrol, y Nigrán-Vigo), Madrid y en Barcelona y alrededores (Sabadell y Terrassa). Cada centro es independiente, colaboramos con asociaciones de personas con discapacidad, y buscamos la realización de trabajos fotográficos, siendo por el momento, nuestra única fuente de ingresos. En la construcción de nuestra red de fotógrafos, colaboramos con entidades de varios países como Noruega, Nueva York y Buenos Aires y estamos en negociaciones para un proyecto europeo para la realización de una formación para fotógrafos con discapacidad intelectual, y la creación de una red. En caso de ser aprobado, estaríamos en dicho proyecto los siguientes países: Italia, Eslovenia, Letonia, Finlandia, Holanda, Escocia, Portugal y España… sería genial!

Nuestros principales proyectos están alrededor de tres puntos básicos: la red de fotógrafos, nuestro banco de imágenes, y la consolidación de los fotógrafos existentes. Para la red de fotógrafos trabajamos para que se unan fotógrafos con discapacidad de países de gran importancia para nosotros, como Francia. Para nuestro banco de imágenes, trabajamos con los aspectos técnicos, y elaboramos el desarrollo de clientes, hablando con varios ejemplos de ellos para que nos expliquen sus preferencias y sus necesidades con el fin de crear el banco de imágenes que ofrezca el mejor servicio para ellos. Para consolidar nuestros fotógrafos, hacemos trabajos fotográficos y reportajes que han de culminar con una gran exposición. Empezamos a formar a nuestros fotógrafos en el manejo de las redes y el teléfono móbil. También investigamos y analizamos nuevos productos y performances para ofrecer a la sociedad. Entre los productos figura la Guía de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, una guía magnífica cuyos contenidos fueron realizados por personas con autismo y nuestros fotógrafos, para hacer de las visitas a la Catedral una experiencia cómoda, cultural y divertida para las personas con discapacidad. Sabemos que los productos realizados por nuestros fotógrafos han de sorprender a la sociedad por su calidad y por su aportación de valor, es decir utilidad. Tenemos una lista de productos y servicios para ir incorporando a nuestra oferta.

Fotografía de Manolo Fabeiro
Fotografía de Manolo Fabeiro

3. La organización tiene una fuerte característica de inclusión de personas con discapacidades y también de reflexión acerca del arte. ¿Cuáles son los desafíos de su proyecto?

En NwnPhoto buscamos la inclusión de todas las personas con discapacidad intelectual, y algunas de ellas tienen otras discapacidades, por ejemplo la visual. Al principio, Eloy, una persona que además es ciega, quería hacer fotografía. Nos informamos y estudiamos las técnicas que emplean los fotógrafos invidentes. Eloy hace fotografía, y se compró una cámara. También hacen fotografía Rober y Rosa. El caso de Rosa es especial ya que es la única que es ciega de nacimiento, nunca ha visto los colores. Para que Rosa pueda “sentir” los colores, utilizamos las emociones a través de la música. Un ejemplo: cuando vemos el color blanco, pensamos en paz, en tranquilidad, que es lo mismo cuando oímos “Imagine” de John Lennon; cuando vemos el color rojo, vemos pasión, fuerza, lo mismo que sentimos cuando oímos las canciones de Ac/Dc. De esta manera Rosa ha aprendido a sentir los colores. Ahora tiene más curiosidad por el mundo, por el color de la comida, sabe que el café con leche no es una bebida de dos colores, y una cosa muy importante, ahora es ella quien compra y elige cada día la ropa que lleva.

Las personas con discapacidad intelectual tienen una vida muy monótona, donde hacen trabajos manuales, repetitivos, y con un círculo social muy pequeño. El arte para nosotros es muy importante ya que trabajamos con la creatividad, y la cultura. El arte es una gran ventana abierta donde ellos ven cosas nuevas e inimaginables, sobre todo con el arte contemporáneo.

Fotografía de Guillermo Trillo Huelva
Fotografía de Guillermo Trillo Huelva

Nuestros desafíos actuales son los de ser un proyecto rentable, sostenible y creador de recursos. Para ello creamos una estructura flexible, sin gastos fijos ni burocracia, que permita focalizar los recursos en lo importante, la discriminación de las personas con discapacidad intelectual. Estudiamos la posible colaboración con partners o la financiación alternativa para acelerar nuestra expansión e implantación del proyecto. Además tenemos el objectivo de cambiar la mentalidad de la sociedad, generando impacto, a nivel global sobre las habilidades de las personas con discapacidad. Garantizamos la calidad profesional de los trabajos de los fotógrafos de NwnPhoto, y creamos performances, nuevos productos y servicios que den valor y sorprendan a la sociedad. Queremos hacer llegar nuestro proyecto a zonas donde ser persona con discapacidad intelectual es aún más difícil. Zonas alejadas de núcleos urbanos, zonas con otras creencias sobre la discapacidad, son lugares donde queremos establecer fotógrafos de NwnPhoto, empoderando de esta manera a las personas con discapacidad.

Fotografía de Eva Rafa
Fotografía de Eva Rafa

4. Cuántas personas participan del proyecto? Puede compartir una o más histórias personales de superación de algunas de ellas?

En España formamos a más de 100 personas con discapacidad intelectual, y trabajamos 14 personas, seis son fotoperiodistas, tres estudiantes de comunicación audiovisual, una arteterapeuta… el resto, son grandes aficionados a la fotografía. La fotografía ha cambiado a nuestros fotógrafos con discapacidad. Todos ellos son más creativos, más proactivos, algunos tienen sus proyectos, y otros ahora aprovechan los fines de semana para hacer sus paseos fotográficos por la ciudad (antes se quedaban en su casa, sin apenas actividad), o acuden a conciertos para fotografiarlos, como hace Paco en Madrid. Hay dos casos entre nuestros fotógrafos que han experimentado cambios increíbles. Uno de ellos es Rosa, una de nuestras fotógrafas ciegas de la que hemos hablado. Además de todos los cambios experimentados, ha descubierto cosas del mundo que no sabía, por ejemplo las sombras, y los reflejos del cielo en los charcos de agua (ver fotografía). Ahora ella hace su propio proyecto y enseña en talleres de colegios y universidad, explicando su experiencia y como realizan fotografía las personas ciegas.

Fotografía de Rosa Areosa
Fotografía de Rosa Areosa

Otro caso muy conocido es el de Vicente. Vicente tenía 55 años cuando empezó a estudiar fotografía. Era una persona sin inquietudes, sin motivación, miedosa, tímida… Él vivía en un piso tutelado de la ciudad de A Coruña, trabaja en su asociación haciendo carpetas y otros trabajos manuales, y el fin de semana viajaba a su casa a 100 kms, para estar todo el día sentado en un sillón. Nunca había viajado fuera de Galicia, y no tenía ningún proyecto de vida. Desde que ha estudiado fotografía, su vida ha cambiado, sonríe, quiere hacer cosas, tiene proyectos. Ahora Vicente visita exposiciones, en una de ellas, del fotógrafo Christian Voigt, él se sentó en un sofá y estuvo contemplando las fotografías de la exposición durante un largo tiempo. Vicente ha sido el fotógrafo de NwnPhoto que ha viajado a Nord-Odal (Noruega) para presentar nuestro proyecto. Es una experiencia que nunca olvidará. La fotografía le ha aportado protagonismo, autoconfianza, actividad creativa, disfrutar de sus paseos viendo paisajes que antes no miraba, también le interesa la cultura. Ha realizado un trabajo donde medita sobre su vida, a través de sus fotografías y la poesía…por primera vez, él ha trabajado con la poesía. Vicente ahora está pensando en comprarse un teléfono móvil para llevar siempre una cámara en el bolsillo, y tener acceso a las redes sociales… quiere estar en contacto con sus amigos de Moro Foto (el grupo de fotógrafos de Noruega). Vicente está realizando junto a otros compañeros, un reportaje sobre “Galicia y los gallegos” y tiene un papel destacado en el reportaje que hacemos con Moro Foto sobre las poblaciones de Sada y Nord-Odal.

Vicente tenía 55 años cuando empezó a estudiar fotografía.
Vicente tenía 55 años cuando empezó a
estudiar fotografía.

5. ¿Cuáles son los principales objectivos de Nos, Why Not para 2016?

Realizar el primer banco de imágenes de fotógrafos con discapacidad, que se encuentra en fase desarrollo, empezar la formación fuera de las asociaciones, facilitando la enseñanza de la fotografía a las personas con discapacidad y crear una red de fotógrafos con discapacidad intelectual en Europa. Iniciar en España un servicio de creación de Guías de recorridos de interés turístico o de patrimonio, realizadas por y para personas con discapacidad intelectual, que beneficie a toda la sociedad. La primera será la Guía de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. Hemos ofrecido realizar una guía similar de una ciudad muy importante de España, que en estos momentos está estudiando el ayuntamiento de dicha ciudad.

Fotografía de Jose Martinez
Fotografía de Jose Martinez

6. Horyou es una red social que tiene como filosofía Soñar, Inspirar y Actuar. ¿Qué significan estas palabras para usted?

Tal vez sea la pregunta más difícil… lo más bonito de soñar, es cuando ves que poco a poco se van realizando los sueños. En el inicio del proyecto, cuando hablaba de la inclusión, de que es posible que una persona con discapacidad de Noruega pueda ser activa y divertirse con la fotografía, que una persona de una zona subdesarrollada pueda pueda tener un protagonismo ayudando a su familia con la fotografía, que todos juntos pueden realizar grandes reportajes y obtener recursos con ellos…. todos me decían que estaba loco. Pero, cuando iniciamos nuestra andadura, empieza la prensa a interesarse por el proyecto, se empiezan a unir asociaciones de diferentes poblaciones, nos invitan a Noruega para presentar el proyecto, también a Perugia (Italia) para hablar en PhotoFest, el congreso más importante de fototerapeutas. Cuando NwnPhoto aparece en un blog de Estados Unidos como uno de los mejores proyectos para empoderar y dar voz a los colectivos marginados o últimamente en el directorio disability arts del British Council es cuando te das cuenta que lo que soñabas se puede conseguir. Podemos cambiar un poco el mundo, hacer que cuando una persona con discapacidad intelectual quiera hacer algo, en nuestro caso la fotografía, para buscar su felicidad, no tenga barreras. Que si una persona con discapacidad de, por ejemplo, Siberia… quiere hacer fotografía, su entorno sepa que todo el mundo lo está haciendo, que no hay ningún problema en ello, y además entrará en un ecosistema, o una plataforma donde podrá hacer exposiciones y vender sus fotografías, que podrá hablar con otras personas con sus mismos problemas e inquietudes, en resumen que no estará sola y tendrá una ventana abierta al mundo… para mí esto es la inspiración, un lugar donde mirando a mi alrededor las ideas acudan a mi y me permita llevarlas a cabo.

Hago un llamamiento a los fotógrafos profesionales para que apoyen a sus vecinos con discapacidad intelectual, a las empresas para que valoren la fotografía social, a los organismos públicos para que piensen en las posibilidades que tienen para dar visibilidad a las personas con discapacidad… hay mucho por hacer, tenemos que lograr que la discapacidad esté en la mente de todos, y de esta manera la inclusión será más fácil. Un ejemplo actual: el nuevo juego de los Pokemon, yo lo desconozco pero estoy seguro que no hay ningún Pokemon con silla de ruedas que podría ser más rápido que los demás y más difícil de cazar, o un Pokemon ciego que apareciera en la oscuridad total… pequeños cambios que cada uno puede hacer y todos son muy importantes. Para mi, eso es actuar!

Por Vívian Soares

Reso is a visual artist from France who loves to show the world his pictures of Provençal nature. He chooses to highlight and promote the creativity as first principle and push artistic creation and human realization. One little picture every day gives him pleasure and he has been doing this for the past 10 years.

Small details of nature - this is what Reso's photographies are about
Small details of nature – this is what Reso’s photographies are about

1. Who is Reso?

Reso is not my true name but names are not so important. Overall I am a “non lucrative being” who tries to live as a “not for profit entity”. I am a young French guy born in 1959 in Paris. My father was Black and my mummy is White; So I am « Black & White », like the old B&W photos; it’s my only common point with Photography.

2. What sort of work do you specialize in?

Work is really not the center of my life. However, creativity stays in the middle of my way and the way I took was to publish one daily photo, one photo about the Provençal nature around me. So each day I send one biological medallion drawing a sweet harmonic suite of little mandala. I consider them more as pictures than photography. Small fragments of life … precious pieces of our self-overviews from the board of « The Arch of Zoé », tiny signs, creation’s relics shared on the net. So I specialize in the best manner to do and the way to follow in my daily usage of photography. It is more a question of method, program, contract, pledge. The matter of my use are health, freedom and pleasure and the satisfaction I get to speak with you is very important too!

Compilation of Reso's pictures
Compilation of Reso’s pictures

3. Did you go to school to study photography?

No I did not. I am self-taught. On my own I practice freedom, promenade, meditation, contemplation. So I got all my basic photographic knowledge all along my “Arch of Zoé” practical experience.

4. How long have you been a photographer?

I am making photos but I don’t speak about me as a photographer! I have only started to shoot and to launch my trip on the “Arch of Zoé”. I started this virtual and symbolic journey in 2006, so I make and I post one little picture each day … for 10 years now. Only for the pleasure … and for the big benefits of the creativity.

Provence nature is his main inspiration
Provence nature is his main inspiration

5. How would you describe your style?

I really don’t know. With a reflex… “automatic” elementary shoots and direct simple, like data collecting. The result of a daily promenade I frame and I shoot only what I see. Where I am I usually I shoot things which are looking at me. It depends on the level of my natural contemplation and the more the time is going …the more it is good! Maybe my style is only in the fact to use round caches to frame and to present the natural objects through open small portholes of the “Arch of Zoé”.

6. What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such great images?

I was just thinking about this big part of our human population which is crossing their lives without any contact with her own nature. So I try to claim my opportunity to live in nature and to share this privilege in this little daily drop-off from the “Arch of Zoé”. I am not a photographer. I feel myself more like a performer. To make photos is more important than the photos themselves.

Each day, Reso posts a picture of what he calls Arch of Zoe
Each day, Reso posts a picture of what he calls Arch of Zoe

7. You are on Horyou, the social network for social good. What does to Dream, Act and Inspire mean to you?

Yes, I am on HORYOU… and I am happy to be there. For me HORYOU is an open door on the human hopes. I am happy to be welcomed by the Horyou members and to serve them each day a fragment of Provençal nature seen and picked from the open portholes of the “Arch of Zoé.

Written by Sushma Brelle

GMB Akash is a socially engaged documentary photographer and an award winning photojournalist, focusing on people on the edge of society. He has covered sensitive topics such as child labour, prostitution and the tough reality of seasonal workers throughout Asia. He has won numerous awards and his work has been published in countless magazines worldwide. His work is very much appreciated as it shows the strength and resilience of human beings.

GMB Akash
GMB Akash

1. You are one of the best and most inspirational photographers from Bangladesh. What is it that motivates you?

Coming from a background where there was little space for adopting a creative process created difficult circumstances for me. People around me had no idea about photojournalism. At that time parents supported you even if you wanted to be an artist, illustrator or an actor/singer. But ‘photojournalist’ did not exist in the circles I was brought up in. Many days I did not eat to save my pocket money for my photography. I used my tuition to buy films. Even some time when I had no film in my camera and had no money in pocket, I never stopped clicking. I kept clicking knowing I had no film inside my camera. Because I know I had to achieve my dream. Nothing could stop me except myself, so I kept walking. And still now every day I dream to achieve my dream.

2. How do you prepare yourself to a particular photo shoot?

I move from here to there. In any of my projects I never show my camera first, I mix with people, I try to become one of them. I travel randomly even a single place only to grab their story inside me. My main concentration is to focus on people who are suffering eternally and dying everyday in the struggle for life. Countries which are similar to mine carry moreover the same scenarios. I think in every country all those sufferers are living the same life; whatever the culture is but the pain is as same and plain as others. I go for covering all hardship of lives around the world. Any human story which strengthens me is my project. I am in an endless journey towards an infinite route, only to find a real world of humanity. This thirst is eternal. I will keep walking, touching every face I drop through my lens. I will show the world – those unknown stories of sufferings. If a single hand comes to give them a shade that will be the real honor to my sweat.

Refugee family
Refugee family

3. Most of your pictures document the routine of poor people in developing countries like Bangladesh. How do you think your work affects their lives?

My photographs made me a better human being. I encountered such incredible stories that changed me entirely. It’s given me the power to reach millions of hearts. More importantly, it enables me to help hundreds of people who I meet in my journey. I dedicated my second book ‘Survivors’ to the survivors who are in my photographs. I gifted businesses to these survivors’ families which are challenging them to bring a better tomorrow. We together fight against the poverty and with my financial help 26 families won over their hunger and acute poverty. The entire income from my photography school First Light Institute of Photography goes to giving education to unprivileged children. We reached more than 500 children so far. In my career I am often faced with one question which is asked by me and by audiences: what have I done for the people who I photographed? Obviously telling their tale is my main job but still year after years of seeing their same circumstances I felt depressed and hated the situation. I started helping survivors, street children, homeless people and elderly citizens. I believe it is my duty as a photographer to point my lens in the face of deprivation and also offer a hand to the people who are dying without help. This is the best reward I get from photography that opens my heart and lets me give love as well as give whatever resources I have.

The photojournalist focuses on people on the edge of society
The photojournalist focuses on people on the edge of society

4. Which artist inspires you the most?

James Natchway and many more who ask the world to wake up.

5. As a winner of many awards, how important is it to be recognized as an artist?

I have received more than 100 international awards so far. My works were also published in more than 100 prestigious magazines and newspapers. My exhibitions have held all over the world. Recognition always works as great inspiration but appreciation from people is like inspiration for more achievements. Awards inspire me to go ahead. But my main award is when I reach to the people with my stories and open up a path to bring positive changes on those fates less people’s lives.

GMB Akash photos are full of impact and meaning
GMB Akash photos are full of impact and meaning

6. I see images from you on social media every day. Where do you get so much motivation from?

When people tell me I pierced their hearts with my photographs or that I moved them, these are so much inspirations to go ahead. I feel it’s positive when after seeing these photos people take a step, even realizing their situation can help. I believe many of us are definitely indebted to them who are working for us in bad conditions. One day we will all gather against such crimes. Children will go to schools instead of factories; no more parents will sell their daughter in brothels. Yes, I am doing my part and I will do until voices raise and hands come out. The important thing to me is that I am in fight to change it. And already I am finding many people beside me in this cause. I am grateful that all my friends from all around the world always have enjoyed going through my sphere.

"In every country all those sufferers are living the same life"
“In every country all those sufferers are living the same life”

7. What new projects are you working on?

I am working on my upcoming book, ‘Angels in Hell’. I plan to publish this photo series in the form of a book and will try to use it as a source of continual funding for our unprivileged children’s’ education. We believe that when many small people in many small places do many small things, they can change the face of the world.

8. You are on Horyou, the Social Network for Social Good. What does to Dream, Act and Inspire mean to you?

Dream – Reason of life Act – Fight for dream Inspire – People who are fighting for life with a smile

Written by Sushma Brelle

JJ-D_19_2

By Amma Aburam

We sat in a booth at the rear of the Fert Barton hall in Geneva, a gracefully and beautifully lit white exhibition space. At its center, a long sculpture representing passing people and beyond that hang two large size photographs by photographer Jean Jacques Dicker. The two photographs represent two rooms he lived in during his many travels – Dicker has visited 92 countries in his lifetime and he masters six languages. They were part of an exhibition that was to showcase the African continent. Well-chosen they represented the highlights from his two years travel on the continent, in 1977-1978 and then again in 1984, crossing from North to South Africa. Horyou seized a chance to talk to Mr. Dicker about his lifetime of travels and the stories behind his photos.

As he walks in, it is obvious that Jean Jacques Dicker is a child of the Hawaiian Islands. Wearing sandals, a tussled scarf and a light khaki jacket, he states his rebellion against the cold weather and his desire to return to his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. Born and raised in Switzerland, he studied at the University of Geneva before heading to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii. Today, he still lives and finds inspiration on the island as a waiter and a photographer.

Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama
Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama

The Afrique exhibition began on the 24th of November 2015 and will carry through to the 15th of January 2016. The photos tell the story of a well-travelled man, one that has found his “home” in many different places. Michel Auer, founder of The Auer Foundation, made the exhibition possible: “I have known Michel for many years and he decided to organize this exhibition for my work and that’s how I’m here,” Mr. Dicker utters. His photography career was triggered by one simple fact: “I wanted to travel,” he confesses. “I finished University and worked for a year then I travelled. I came back and took photo course because I figured if I could do that I could make a little money on the side.” Little did he know he had a natural talent with the camera. He got countless compliments for his work, learnt how to print, entered competitions and won awards: “I was flattered and enjoyed doing it, which is the most important part”, he admits.

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At the age of 71, Mr. Dicker has made his “home” in Kenya, Japan, South Africa, France, Switzerland and New York. We asked him about the highlights of some of these experiences, starting with the African continent. “In Africa, the highlights are the people, the relationships I built,” he says. One of the exposed photos is a shot of his room in Kenya, where you can tell he lived a simple life. It shows a simple bed and a simple coat hanging above the bed. He lived with prostitutes in Nairobi, as part of one of his photographic projects. Then, finally, he made it to South Africa: “travelling through the continent I crossed quite a few unsettling countries; but South Africa was the scary one. It’s what we had been hearing on the news: Mandela was in jail, apartheid was in full bloom and I was breaking the law because I had a black girlfriend when I was there.” Mr. Dicker didn’t let himself be influenced by the social and political state of affairs; he treated everyone equally and made life long friends thanks to his kind attitude: “I worked in a restaurant where the waiters were white and the assistants black. I would help them out, I would eat leftovers with them, they would ask if I didn’t mind eating with them and I would say of course not! I was from Europe and that was normal to me”, he recounts. Upon his departure, the assistants made a circle around him and told him he was the only white man they respected because of his humility and kindness.

In his South-Asian adventures he met with his aunt. An experience he relates with emotion, joy and awe just as if he was reliving it: “I met my Aunt who was French and who went to live in India about 40/50 years ago. I had lost touch with her since 1962 but I knocked on her door and said remember me I’m your sister’s son. That was fun. I met my nieces as well.” This experience was proof that we can find home in travelling as well.

Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer
Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer

Today, If there is still a place he would like to visit, it is Brazil; having missed the chance to go years ago. A hitch hiker at heart, in the sixties he took the road from San Diego to Mexico and then to different places for about 3 months: “I did that in 1966, back then it was all about flower power. I’m not sure what it would be like to do that today”, he adds.

Aside from his travels, Mr. Dicker keeps photography close to home. One of his recent series is comprised of portraits of restaurant workers, his colleagues back in Honolulu; a black and white series delicately highlighting the different personalities he encounters and works with everyday. “I’m not big on messages in my photography. I want to capture beauty and experiences for myself. If people like it, that’s even better,” he explains.

Mr. Dicker is a dreamer from the sixties: “I dream that there will be no religions, no nations and no flags. These are the things that separate people,” he declares passionately. For him inspiration simply resides in photography. He points to one of his photos of his bedroom in Kenya: “Hopefully, when you see that you are inspired to go live in a room like it or get on the road,” he says. He then points to a photo of a child on a boat on a river in Kenya as well: “look at that kid. I am so fortunate to have witnessed that and it was even more fun and special that he didn’t notice me taking the photo. He certainly made me so happy and maybe he will make others happy too.” To act for Mr. Dicker is to share his experiences through conversations such as this interview: “To act is to talk to you and say all these things about nations, flags and religions and if you put that in an article and someone is inspired or semi-thinks about it, that’s a good thing.”

His exhibition continues until the 16th of January at the Espace Fert Barton in Geneva.

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