On the power and ethics of #devpix

Recently, PhotoVoice joined a number of organisations for an online Twitter discussion which looked at the role, benefits and barriers of photography used for development.

The discussion was hosted by the Overseas Development Institute, which partnered with PhotoVoice on the recent multi-country project Development Progress‘. It considered a number of important questions:

Q1: Development has largely moved beyond ‘flies in their eyes’ imagery – but do #DevPix still negatively shape perceptions of development?
Q2: What are aid agencies doing to counter negative stereotypes in photography? Share some of the best examples you’ve seen
Q3: Does it matter who takes the photo? And on a practical level, how can NGOs make greater use of local photographers?
Q4: What are some of the rules for commissioning/using #DevPix responsibly? Does your org have #photography guidelines you can share?
Q5: How has socialmedia affected how people use photography to communicate global development?
Q6: We know the challenges of using #DevPix responsibly. But what’s the single greatest obstacle – lack of time, budget, understanding?

The responses from organisations including Bond, the ODI, PhotoVoice, DfID and others were fascinating and wide-ranging, and have been summarised by a number of organisations and individuals.

 Featured Image: PhotoVoice and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance exhibition for ‘Mysterious Youth Eyes’ in People’s Park, Yangon. © International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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