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Our Approach
Enabling Images of Peace Through Photography and Leadership Training

Why do we choose Photography?
Photography is a powerful tool for social change, as images influence our perceptions of history and identity. Therefore, art, and photography in particular, can enable communities to creatively capture and shape the dynamics that define their lives.

Photography is instant, relatively inexpensive, simple to learn, and easy to share; it reveals details about the subject and its creator that bring into focus a framework to better understand and communicate the human condition. Photographs can serve as a catalyst for dialogue and discussion. Whether you're a veteran photographer or a novice, photography gives an immediate and lasting sensation of creation. Just as there are different styles of painting, there are different ways to take a picture. Whether candid, staged, still, or abstract, a photograph conveys a unique and captivating story. We believe that peace makes a powerful frame.

What is Grassroots Peace Photojournalism?
The field of photojournalism is not new. However, like many fields, it has largely been developed and defined by Westerners and elites. In order to enable all people to play a part in defining their social history, they must have a variety of tools to document and shape their lives, their stories, and their vision. As such, Peace in Focus is committed to developing Grassroots Peace Photojournalism in the communities where we work.

Our approach is "Grassroots" in the sense that we partner with local organizations, photographers, and educators to ensure that workshops are conducted in conjunction with local community development and peacebuilding efforts. We believe it's essential that participants represent the diversity of the local community so that an indigenous narrative can emerge from our workshops. This approach runs counter to traditional photojournalism in which most photographers have been outsiders in the communities they cover. While their work has been incredibly valuable in shedding light on world events, too often the page is turned before locals take ownership of the images and stories that define their society. The time has arrived for the tools to be transferred and the responsibilities shared so that an organic and "Grassroots" process of creation can emerge.

"Peace Photojournalism" implies that photography is not a passive art form and therefore needs a guiding principle. Our guiding principle is peace. We believe photography has the potential to both document reality and to shape it. In order for this to happen, we must begin to change the way we perceive our surroundings and ourselves. Only then will our reality also begin to change.