In a recent blog post Ed spoke about how and when his images can affect change in the world. Ed referenced his “Curse of the Black Gold,” a story about the adverse impact of oil in the Niger Delta, where locals have formed militant groups to stand up against the local and foreign interests there, who are the chief benefactors of more than 50 years of oil and gas exploitation in that region of Nigeria. From this photo essay, one was recently included in National Geographic’s “50 Greatest Pictures,” extending the life of the project in yet another way. One of the plagues of media today is that an issue experiences “donor fatigue” and over saturation, so that while the story lives on, the public loses interest and exposure dwindles. This is where the enduring hearts and stamina of photojournalists and other visual storytellers come in. Resources like crowd funding act like a net to help topics stay afloat.
Andrew Berends is committed to bringing awareness of the adverse effects big oil interests have around the world. After two films in Iraq, he has directed his efforts to illuminate the persisting geopolitical problems in the Niger Delta. Please visit Andrew’s Kickstarter page to learn about the film, take part in it by donating, and to witness how photojournalists, as a collective, trump causes over and over again until the changes they envisioned are realized.