A New Outreach Program and Interactive Feature at click.si.edu
Smithsonian Photography Initiative invites the public to participate in
an unprecedented online dialogue about the impact of photography on
history, culture and everyday lives. Visitors to “click! photography
changes everything” at click.si.edu are encouraged to submit their photos and stories about the many ways photos shape experience, knowledge and memory.
The Smithsonian Photography Initiative recently started selecting stories and images submitted by site visitors on an ongoing basis to be regularly uploaded to the “click!” Web site. In addition, on a bi-monthly schedule, it is issuing more specific and theme-based calls for visitor-contributed content. New images and stories will join an archive of written and filmed commentaries that the Initiative began collecting last year from invited experts investigating how photography has changed the progress and practice of their diverse fields—from anthropology to astrophysics, from media to medicine, from philosophy to sports.
Africa Media Online (Pty) Ltd, is at the heart of an effort to ensure that when the world media turns their attention to the South Africa ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, they can find the pictures to tell the nation’s story.
Africa Media Online is a digital trade route enabling Africans to tell Africa's story and retain ownership of that story. “Colonialism was set up to feed the industrial economy,” says David Larsen, Director of Africa Media Online. “The industrial economy needed raw materials to keep it growing. We now live in the information economy and what feeds the information economy is information, including the heritage of cultures around the world. This time around, we want to make sure that Africans retain ownership of their resources and own the trade route to markets around the world.”
The 2010 Fifa World Cup will generate tens of thousands of articles in print publications, web posts, and television clips in the local and international media, and almost all will need pictures to illustrate their stories.
The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme is specifically aimed at growing photo entrepreneurs who can compete on the global stage in terms of photo production and market savvy. Launched ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the programme will be run in South Africa in the latter half of 2008.
Sponsored in part by the European Union through Gijima KZN, an initiative of the Department of Economic Development, the programme requires participants to apply to be selected. A panel of eminent judges will ensure the standard of participants is high.
The programme will include participation in the Digital Campus, a photo assignment, and for those who carry out the assignment successfully, a further two day Global Competitiveness Masterclass.
The aim of the whole programme is to equip participants to become adept at supplying the needs of international publishing, art and product markets. It not only involves photography, digital imaging and digital workflow skills and disciplines, but also an awareness of market demands and routes to market.
‘Spirit of the Land’is a personal project by photographer Stephen Robinson
The Project uses the panoramic format, which the photographer believes better replicates the way the human eye explores and takes in a scene. The photographs are therefore presented just as they were viewed in-camera by the photographer’s eye – full frame, without selective cropping or enlargement.
By use of an unusual format in this way, the photographer aims to give the viewer some idea of the ‘feel’ of a landscape; and of the emotive power the natural landscape has over the human eye.
The results of the initial work in the Project were premiered in a major one-man exhibition in Lusaka, Zambia, supported and hosted by the French Government, and in Livingstone, Zambia. Over 2500 people visited these two exhibitions and many others have visited various smaller Project shows and collective art exhibitions and gallery shows at which the work has been shown.
The exhibitions have been met with an overwhelming response and considerable interest in limited edition, fine art prints of the photographs.
In recent and future Project work, the central theme of landscapes is supplemented with photography illustrating the peoples of remote Zambia: their life in, and their dependence on, the natural habitats depicted in the landscape photographs.
The Photographer believes that, in this fast changing era of development in Zambia, it is important to document and show the rich abundance of the country’s largely unknown or unappreciated natural resources; to increase awareness of them; and to ensure that they become valued to the extent that they will be conserved and utilized on a sustainable basis. His travels in remote areas have shown him that the very way of life and the day-to-day survival of many rural populations in Zambia will depend on such environmental awareness and action.
Education is an important element of all exhibitions and of the Project, with guided visits by school and college students of all ages and backgrounds.
Since it’s launch in January 2006, the website has enjoyed some 40,000 to 50,000 ‘hits’ per month originating from all regions of the World. Visitor contacts and feedback have shown that the website has already become an important international on-line resource for educational use and for the promotion of Zambia in the travel & tourism and the development & investment fields.
As well as plans to grow the website as the Project proceeds, it is proposed that it be developed for use by schools and other educational institutions.
The project continues as new work is added from all parts of Zambia.