Third year BA History of Art student Adya Jalan completed a virtual internship in summer 2020 funded by Goldsmiths. The opportunity was a marketing internship at Penda Photo Tours and Penda Trust, a photography and non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa.
In her second blog post, Adya explains discusses the power of art.
This summer, I participated in a Virtual Global Opportunity which was funded by the Global Opportunities Team at Goldsmiths. In July 2020, I started working as a Marketing Intern at Penda Photo Tours, a company based in Cape Town, South Africa. In this blog, I want to write about the work Penda does and the social impact it creates by focussing on how Art can be a powerful tool in doing so.
A few years ago, while I was residing in India, I worked for an NGO called Missing. They run a very successful and award-winning anti-trafficking campaign using art & technology to create awareness against sex trafficking. While I was there, I painted anti-trafficking murals on the streets in order to raise awareness among the public. As a self-taught artist, this made me realise that art can be used in so many powerful ways. Thus, when I came across Penda, I knew this is exactly where I want to be. Along with gaining valuable marketing experience at Penda, I also contributed in making a difference.
Penda Photo Tours is a young social enterprise that uses photography to both create amazing experiences and to generate positive change. For instance, one can join a photo tour offered by Penda to photograph the Big Five in South Africa, encounter unique creatures in the Amazon Rainforest or even join their wildlife and humanitarian photography internships. Most importantly, Penda also believes in the power to do good, which is why they created a non-profit, Penda Trust, which uses photography as a tool to support important conservation and community projects in developing countries. They do this through several ways, which I’ll be discussing further in addition to how I was able to contribute too. Writing blogs for Penda was one the ways I was able to spread awareness about important issues and how photography can be used in so many useful ways. These blogs were written from an SEO perspective and can potentially increase visibility for the platform.
Penda provides grass-root charities with professional photographs that they can use to raise awareness about their issues and potentially fundraise for their cause. Visual marketing is essential for any charity to get their word across, and good photography is a vital part of it. They identify non-profit organisations in developing countries that will benefit from having these professional photographs and provide services to them. Recently, when the Covid-19 crisis hit South Africa, several of the townships in South Africa have been struggling with economic crisis, food shortage and homelessness. Penda photographer Anna Lusty has been going around parts of Cape Town documenting the works of small locals local NGOs who are organising covid-19 relief projects. Here is a recent blog I wrote for Penda Photo Tours compiling all the projects Anna has been photographing. These photographs are going to be very helpful for the local NGOs in terms of spreading awareness and reaching out to donors. Humanitarian Photography as a field is a really versatile one. Visual imagery has the power to reach people, stir emotion, and inspire action. Photography has the potential to make a positive impact and can be used for raising awareness, supporting non-profits and getting people to engage with important topics. Humanitarian photography is the ideal field to explore if one is inclined towards making a change through their Art. Blog writing is a great way to spread awareness about these things and can potentially be a really strong marketing tool. Writing a blog about this, I was able to highlight a variety of elements of humanitarian photography; what is it and how to become a one.
Photography can also be used to highlight other important issues such as wildlife conservation and climate change. The combination of photography and wildlife conservation is a powerful one. Photographs have the power to alter perceptions and accelerate the viewer’s understanding of important matters. Conservation photography has the potential to bridge language barriers and instil a sense of responsibility, while motivating the spectator to act against the threats the natural world faces. Penda also offers Wildlife Photography Internships which allow participants to explore this field but also work with conservation projects in Africa and the Amazon. Below are two blogs which I wrote concerning the above topics –
Overall, through intensive research and blog writing, I have gained awareness about the threats to wildlife and climate, the threats to the local community in Africa as a result of Covid-19 and how photography can be used to help these problems.