Cape Town - A group of photographers assisted by Fujifilm South Africa are equipping women with cameras in an attempt to forge a new pathway for healing and further exploration.
The five-week street photography workshop #shoot4purpose was started by photographers Quaniet Richards, Nawawie Mathews and Shamiel Albertyn in September 2021 for victims of gender-based violence, abuse and trauma, with the aim of incorporating photography into their healing journey.
The first five participants had no prior experience with cameras or photography.
Co-founder and mentor Richards said: “We want to assist in rebuilding self-esteem and confidence. We believe that we can use photography as a tool to document what is happening in our communities and in this way, create awareness of the social challenges we face in our communities and society at large.”
There are currently five participants who started on July 2.
Richards said traditional photography was still seen as an elitist hobby with the high costs of camera gear a barrier to entry.
Fujifilm South Africa provided eight cameras and training to the cohorts.
National Product Specialist Hein Hough said the #shoot4purpose team had identified the power of photography and creativity in addressing trauma, which in turn had a powerful impact in effecting change in the cohorts’ lives as well as in their broader communities.
Former participant Raygaan Jacobs said: “I have met amazing friends on my journey with #shoot4purpose, each on a journey of self-discovery and self-belief. Our journeys are further enriched by each other’s experiences and while we are healing as individuals we are also healing a community and future generations.”
Jacobs was a former participant and is now part of the #shoot4purpose advisory counsel.
“The workshops developed a sense of consciousness and I was able to start seeing the beauty within all the chaos. Among the many lessons on this journey, by far the greatest was that there is so much to be grateful for.
“It shifted my perspective on life and gave me back the confidence I lost during a long period of hardship. My passion for photography is so deeply rooted in my healing and opened a door to a world where dreams are possible.”
A final exhibition is scheduled for December 2022 with the need for a suitable venue, printing and framing of participants' work still required.
For more information, contact [email protected]