January 05, 2016

“Photographs show us places and things we will never see in person, they express conflict in a visceral and enduring way, and they can be transformative. Photographs can cause us to think differently or move us emotionally, and sometimes they can even propel us into action,” Jessie Wender writes on National Geographic’s Proof blog. In honor of 2015 coming to a close, Wender asked eight National Geographic photographers to share how an image or project of theirs that appear in national Geographic had invoked change.


Among those eight photographers, Ed Kashi (VII) shared a story about this image of a boy carrying a goat carcass in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2006. Ed wrote, “After this image appeared in “Curse of the Black Gold” in the February 2007 issue of National Geographic magazine, I was contacted by Betty Becchina, who lives in Smithtown, New York. She was inspired to locate this boy in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, through her local church, send him $500, and support him so he could go to school. Over the years, she stayed in contact with Paulinous Uko,  the subject of this photo, and his family…Paulinous was 14 in 2006, has five other siblings, and lives in a very poor situation. The working conditions at the Trans Amadi Slaughter, as this abattoir is called, are hellish, and the fact that my image prompted an individual to take such actions reminds me that the power of the still image survives and, more importantly, that people care.”

Read more inspiring stories of images sparking change, from photographers like Lynn Johnson, Marcus Bleasdale, and others here: http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/31/8-photos-that-inspired-action/

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Categories: Inspiration, Published