I am always a little skeptical when it comes to "raising awareness" of poverty or conditions suffered by poor people through photography.
I find that a lot of the photography I see in the mainstream media (and yes--from many development agencies) tends to frame poor people as helpless objects, defined wholly by their suffering.
And that is why I love (LOVE!) Help-Portrait.
It works like this: Professional photographers donate their time and equipment for a photoshoot with people who otherwise would never have been able to afford to buy a photograph of themselves or loved ones. It's a project being done around the world--including Canada.
In Winnipeg, according to an article from CBC Manitoba, Help-Portrait teamed up with Agape Table, Win Gardner Place, and Siloam Mission.
|Photo from CBC Manitoba|
Help-Portrait allows people living in poverty to be seen as people with complex lives who have hopes, fears, and make decisions--and lets them define themselves according to their choosing, not the photographer or NGO. Cool.