Through FotoEvidence, I have had the privilege and joy to work with some of the most skilled and dedicated documentary photographers of our time and to publish their human stories recounting indisputable evidence of social injustice.
At Visa Pour L’Image in 2015, with my partner David Stuart , we were on the top floor at Palais de Congress meeting photographers, reviewing work for possible publication. David introduced me to a young man and said, “you should see his work”. This is how I met Mario Cruz, a Portuguese photographer, then in his twenties. With a quite voice he presented me Talibés Modern Day Slaves, a work he did in Senegal, a work that saved the lives of hundreds of young talibés. Back then, going through his haunting photographs we even did not know the scope of what he had done and would do.
© Mario Cruz from Talibes Modern Day Slaves
Mario gained rare access to the dark side of faux Koranic schools in Senegal, known as daaras, and captured disturbing photographs of the lives of young boys subjected to slave-like conditions, documenting an alarming social situation for at least 50,000 young boys, aged between five and 15, in Senegal.
FotoEvidence published Talibés Modern Day Slaves and he received recognition from World Press Photo, who exhibited his work in their traveling exhibit. The work provoked a nearly immediate response from the President of Senegal, shortly after “Talibés Modern Day Slaves” came off the press. The President, Macky Sall, ordered the registration of all daaras in Senegal, an effort to distinguish legitimate schools from exploitative ones. He also ordered the police to identify and assist boys begging on the streets and to close the schools that sent them out to beg. The government also used Cruz’s photographs in a public education brochure alerting the public to the issue and encouraging them to report beggars and help identify illegitimate daaras.
Photojournalism professor Ken Kobre, produced a short video (10 min.) about this project called Don’t Look: Can photojournalism really change society. It’s available on YouTube: Mario Cruz on Talibés: Modern Day Slaves – YouTube .
Mario Cruz is just one of many photojournalists dedicated to change society that we had the honor to work with. I am grateful for their trust in FotoEvidence to publish their important stories.
Severely mentally disabled men and women are shackled and locked away in Juba Central Prison for years on end. The new nation of South Sudan faces a tremendous challenge to build a modern country capable of caring for all of its citizens. Juba, Sudan. January 2011. © Robin Hammond/Panos
Robin Hammond who traveled to nine African countries over a period of seven years using his own recourse to produce Condemned, work that captures both the deplorable conditions that the mentally ill endure and the overwhelming challenge that mental health workers face with limited resources and inadequate or failed systems health care systems in which the mentally ill have the lowest priority.
© Michelle Frankfurter from Destino
Michelle Frankfurter with her large format camera on the top of the freight train La Bistya, telling the story of undocumented Central American migrants and their perilous journey across Mexico, as they attempt to enter the United States in pursuit of a better life. Destino.
Destino: FotoEvidence | Documenting Social Injustice
A Syrian family weeps tears of joy after reaching, on a rubber boat from Turkey, the village of Skala Sykaminias located on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on October 10, 2015. Thousand of refugees, mostly coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, cross everyday the Aegean sea from Turkey to reach Europe: a relatively short but extremely perilous journey. According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 850 000 arrivals by sea were registered in Greece in 2015. © Fabio Bucciarelli
Fabio Bucciarelly who has followed the story of refugees fleeing the revolutions and wars that followed the “Arab Spring” since they began in 2011 and the work resulted in a book The Dream.
The Dream: FotoEvidence | Documenting Social Injustice
© Danielle Villasana from A Light Inside
Danielle Villasana who documents for three years the lives of trans women in Peru, following them through their daily lives and the discrimination and harassment they face when looking for housing, employment, and health care. Her work and book A Light Inside inspired the medical community in Lima, Peru to create a consultation center dedicated to the treatment of trans women.
A Light Inside: FotoEvidence | Documenting Social Injustice
Solmaz Daryani from The Eyes of Earth
Solmaz Daryani who tells a deeply personal story about the environmental disaster at Lake Urmia in Iran as seen through the eyes of a self-taught photographer, who grew up on the lake. The work was recognized as the winner of the FotoEvidence Women Award and published in a book The Eyes of Earth.
The Eyes of Earth: FotoEvidence | Documenting Social Injustice
FotoEvidence bookstore online: FotoEvidence | Documenting Social Injustice
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