World Humanitarian/Photography Day: Insights on the need to document rare moments, works

Both days commemorated on August 19th 2022; world photography and world humanitarian day respectively, draws to mind how much is being archived, whether if all that is taken in form of pictures are for a commercial purpose and if the works of humanitarians have in any way being documented.

These are 2 different events commemorated seperately but observed on thesame day; World Photography Day 2022 with a theme "Pandemic lockdown through the lens", while reflection arround humanitarian day is on "It takes a village", reflecting on collective efforts in providing solutions in different communities.

Some humanitarians were glad to have used the day in reflecting on work done so far, mentors met in different fields, solutions applied in different communities in saving lifes or serving humanity. Though some of them were not satisfied because most of their works may not have been properly documented for posterity sake.

Eucharia N

Nkengafack Eucharia is a Communications Officer with Reach Out Cameroon. She believes that documenting what humanitarians do in form of photographs will help for posterity sake, she thought of humanitarians who have died with their works with no one being able to read about them when there are no more.

"Celebrating world humanitarian day and world photography day is a coincidence, the later helps us remember the works devoted persons have carried out serving humanity, with some of them dieing in the process".

"Humanitarians dedicate their time and effort in serving different communities! reflecting on "it takes a village", talking about collective action of individuals worldwide to solve society and community problems, using same action and sort out how to bring about positive change in the community and the environment in which they live in".

"There is alot of work humanitarians do worldwide everyday. If we have to talk about humanitarian work, today is not enough to talk about it. But with photography, professionals will help us document evident work that humanitarians do. Most of their work still remain undocumented, if documented in the form of photography could help keep from generation to generation because of the saying that goes "a picture speaks a thousand words".

"If there are enough pictures, photographs on what humanitarians do, then their impact throughout the world will be felt. Photography is one of the sustainable ways to store information".

Music Waa

Waa Musi, with an artistic name Musinash is a Photo journalist and senior audio visual consultant. He was delighted to talk to Civiclens on what he feels about recent day photography and the polemics arround it, emphasizing on the need to document every moment.

"when we talk about photography, we talk about light and image. It means without the other we can't obtain the other. If we don't have light, we can't have an image or a photo. We look things more from the brighter side; everyone practicing in the profession of photography must have a pure heart. This is interms of creativity, artistory, distinction meaning quality. These are some of the principles that one can uphold to measure in a profession of photography".

"Talking about documenting images, there is a very high proliferation in the profession in current day photography practice. Many youths are picking up cameras and calling themselves photographers which in my opinion is not the right appellation to give to the practice. Most of them are either adventurers, semi professionals, or youths who want to do something to earn a living. It's not about carrying a camera, running to events or taking pictures of people printing n giving them out".

"The profession of photography is something you must invest in it. It's not about buying equipment, it's also about intellectual investment. Studying to know what the art is all about, to improve on buisness options, with creativity being an essential tool for this. The photographer sees something different from what any ordinary eye will see. Once he captures that from whatever position, from his point of view it gives value to the image"

"Most photographers take pictures because they have been asked to take pictures by their clients, professional photographers should be able to capture natural moments. Use a drone; take pics of models, do lifestyle shoot. These are areas where photographers will rarely focus at, most of them shoot only for commercial purpose but will rarely go out for something natural".

"No 2 moments are thesame, more reason why it is important to capture each moment. Photographers should invest in capturing moments, they should give value to every moment. At the humanitarian phase of the crisis, photographers should be able to capture and preserve each thing that happen , this will be great archive."

Fon Nsoh

Fon Nsoh Coordinator - COMINSUD, has shared his views on dual commemorations, humanitarian and photography both aspects that move side by side.

"Great concerns for the needs of vulnerable suffering and the needy masses in a context where every need can be met, more commitment to bridge humanitarian needs in ways that contribute to growth, deceleration and sustainable peace. Photography and re-photography is important to support better understanding of context, decision making and providing evidence. Develop positive mindset, build resilience and self assertiveness in ways that reduce dependence and vulnerability."

Jingkoh Laura has passion in serving humanity, as a humanitarian she was touched seeing the vulnerable affected by the crisis, turned an armed conflict. She found pleasure in assisting them in whatever they needed: to have their dignity restored, build their resilience, regain their self esteem and be able to smile again.

"Personally I think enough has been done so far but much still has to be done to get better results and reach out to the right people. This can be achieve through better coordination and collaboration among all humanitarian actors. It can also be achieved if de government is ready to collaborate with humanitarian actors (INGOs) to permit them have access to some of these areas believing NGOs are here to compliment and not to fight them".

"Humanitarian activities are not well reported because the collaboration is minimal, humanitarian workers forget to take some of these professional photographers along to cover their activities. Alot is not being captured, if humanitarian workers and photographers collaborate since humanitarian workers reach interiors, with alot of challenges and being in an emergency, these photographers can catch the moment. We don't take pictures of people without their consent, or use these pictures without their permission. But I think photographers can liase with humanitarian workers to understand the basics and cover their activities for archiving".

Being at the humanitarian phase of the ongoing crisis in the Northwest region that has lasted for over 5years and more, professional photographers should be able to have an archive of pictures of moments that may never occur again. Its important for them to know that not every image, picture can be old but archived, be an artifact in years to come on what happened already.

By Ndefru Melanie


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