As Kate Sedgwick’s article about the “Ausencias” exhibit in Argentina suggested, the power of photography is profound.
Photos help us see places we’ve never been, empathize with difficulties we can only begin to imagine, and document the facts of history.
There are a number of organizations around the world using cameras as instruments of social change.
From Disparando Camaras Para la Paz (Shooting Cameras for Peace) in Colombia to Matador member Ryan Libre’s Documentary Arts Asia, NGOs and non-profits are using cameras to teach people tangible skills while letting them narrate their own stories.
Cameras are also being used for the same purposes in the United States. The Skid Row Photography Club is an organization dedicated to teaching people living on the streets how to use cameras, then setting up exhibits of their work for public viewing.
If you’re about to upgrade to a new camera and would like to give your old one to a good cause, most organizations accept donations. In the US, working cameras can be sent to the Skid Row Photography Club at this address:
Skid Row Photo Club
121 E 6th St #701
Los Angeles, CA 90014
To donate gear to Documentary Arts Asia, contact Ryan Libre.
Looking to improve your own photography skills? Be sure to read photojournalist Lola Akinmade’s “The A-B-C-D-E of Travel Photography.”