Photography & Activism

From the afternoon January 2017 session of Vedat Xhymshiti's workshop on 'How to use Photography as an effective tool for your social activism campaigns'. [Photo Credits: FEZ]

  • Do you consider yourself a social justice activist, driven by the desire to live in a society that practices and implements equality, values, and liberty and recognizes and responds to individual needs in an effort need to improve quality of life, for all?
  • Do you witness problems in your community that you would like to see addressed, but have no idea how to bring about changes?

Then come along to VXPictures forthcoming workshop. 

From the afternoon session of Vedat Xhymshiti's workshop on 'How to use Photography as an effective tool for social activism campaigns'. Newport Jan - 2017 [Photo Credits: FEZ]

Vedat Xhymshiti’s experience-based syllabus will teach you how to use photography as an effective tool for social activism.

The workshop will help you enhance your skills and gain necessary ethical and professional knowledge to nurture and boost your campaign to bring about the changes you want to see.

Vedat has a decade’s ground experience in social activism that commenced as a documentary photographer back in 2007, and later on as a reporter, journalist and investigative journalist [click to see his website]. His role, in his words, is to expose “the good the bad and the ugly of the truth”.

Vedat’s workshop is specifically tailored to help you understand  the underlying political and social values that have driven government policies for the past decade and, the continuing impact of that political narrative. His counter-narrative and understanding of the world gleaned from his extensive and international experience will aid you in clarifying and solidifying your social justice goals.


»Given the opportunity, you will witness my ability to work independently, with good humour and adaptability which has contributed effectively to my high success rates and outstanding results since 2008 as a documentary photographer and journalist as well as a lecturer. « Vedat Xhymshiti, VXPictures founder/lecturer.

 

Course Content

  1. How to build a Photo-Story
  2. How to pick a subject, and
    • How to research it,
    • What filters to apply; and
    • What questions should be answered
  3. How to fully and effectively investigate a subject
  4. How to introduce it photographically
  5. What is documentary photography?
  6. What is a long term documentary photography project?
  7. What is Social activism?
  8. What is Journalism, and
    • The difference between social activists and journalists; and
    • Why is it important to understand the scope of each and how to define them
  1. Photography & Activism
  2. Ethics:
    • Image theft,
    • Photo Plagiarism; and
    • Photo Manipulation: it's consequences and benefits;
  3. Campaigning:
    • How to prepare your campaign,
    • How to recruit (or attract?) supporters for your cause; and
    • How to effectively execute (or implement?) your campaign
  4. Social Media Campaigning,
  5. How to campaign using photography,
  6. Social Activist duties and results.
  • Laptop
  • Photo Camera or mobile phone camera?
  • Notebook & Pen
  • Lunch
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Biscuits
  • 9am start [with snacks and introduction]
  • 1/pm 60 minutes lunch time
  • 6/pm end time.
  • Be exclusively focused;
  • Ask questions to aid your understanding - there is no such thing as a 'silly question' at a VXPictures workshop.
  • Late entrants will not be permitted to enter until the next session to prevent disturbance and breaks in concentration for both workshop attendees and the tutor.
  • Please do not hesitate to get involved in debates.
  • Mobile phone/tablet usage will not be permitted for the reasons outlined at 1 above.
  • Talking or whispering in the class about irrelevant matters is exclusionary and not permitted. We are learning and sharing together as a workshop – your respect for this principle is appreciated.
  • Ignoring attendees or expressing verbal assumptions or judgement regarding your fellow workshop attendees is not part of VXPictures ethos. Respect for each other is paramount and no attendee should be made to feel that their view is invalid or wrong. All attendees are free to express their opinions without fear or intimidation by others.

This well-subscribed workshop runs over a dynamic and intensive two-day period, with a maximum of 15 attendees in order to prevent any limitation of the efficacy of the content.

VXPictures delivers the course for a very reasonable and reduced price:

  • Political Refugee 3 seats each £50 for the two days course.
  • Students 3 seats each £100 for the two days course.
  • Activists 6 seats £130 for the two days course.
  • Other [attendees] 3 seats £150 for the two days course.

Feedback

What I’ve learned in this course is that a consistent non-emotionally charged approach is key to do effective campaigning. I also learned how to remain consistent from the beginning till the end of a campaign, which seems to definitely tackle the topic you choose to campaign for.

I think the tutor is interesting and I have learned from his experiences. I now understand that local issues can be tackled in the same way as global issues and now it definitely all seems very achievable.

FEZ Miah, Maindee Unlimited Observer

I am really glad that I attended this workshop. We spent two days looking at dissecting how to insure that you can create a credible story, how to insure that you don’t fall into pitfalls through photography. How to make sure that you can make a really coherent understanding of your story. We had some healthy debates, specifically about ethics in journalism and activism. It was about sixteen hours of learning and now I need to digest it all and begin my own investigations of my own journey and see what happens from there.

I would say that the Tutor is extremely experienced in what he is talking about. I would say that he made an attempt to try and understand where everybody was coming from with questions and comments. I would say that it was very interesting to hear about his actual experience and what he had gone through because examples always make the learning easier to digest. He spent time with us one-on-one, which was important and helped us to step away from emotions and understand whether we had created what constitutes an actual story.

I would definitely recommend this workshop to anybody, it was totally worth getting up at 6/am on a Saturday and I don’t say that for a lot of things. So, yes I am feeling really invigorated and have been left with lots of things to think about and surely I think that’s the best result of any workshop.

Jennifer AbellWorkshop attendee


I currently work as a data manager, but lots of my work is also reporting about situation we’re in. I learned how to stretch the research in this workshop, because I worked on the basis of what I wanted to do. I tried to find pictures to fit the narrative rather than look for factual evidence. And I think I learned a lot about stretching my ideas really. As well as what was ethically important; what one should and shouldn’t do.

The tutor is very approachable, passionate, very direct and honest.  I think it is very good to have a good atmosphere in the group and he managed to keep that effectively - this says a lot about the fact that he’s got experience in the field.

David McNeilKaleidoscope – Wales


»Vedat Xhymshiti's delivery was very articulate and engaging. His background in photojournalism has taken him to many war-torn areas around the world. Let’s face it - his job is not something for the fainthearted. His background immediately became apparent. This was one hell of a serious workshop.«

Dilip Sinah, workshop attendee Newport (south Wales).


 The most interesting thing about this workshop is that the tutor was very good. He knows how to engage with the group, how to explain clearly. This workshop was an eye-opener for me and I would definitely recommend this to anyone involved in social activism.

Jan, Workshop attendee/activist


 

The major points of the workshop were: Are the topics we cover as activists debatable? Can we bring all perspectives into the story or only shed light on one? Are their consequential actions that need to be covered?

It was the questions above, which helped the attendees to be very self-critical of how they used photography to highlight social issues, and to become effective in their activism. The relentless nature of remaining unbiased and also observant of different situations, combined with the fact all sides of a topic were covered meant that this course was an awakening for all that attended.

Newport and Activism


»Vedat Xhymshiti is the acclaimed independent journalist and war correspondent who has put his life on the line for perilous undercover work to document the daily lives of Syrians.« 

MegaReach, Plymouth University


At all times I have found Vedat to be hard-working, serious and courteous. He managed to adapt in a short period of time to the requirements of the most dangerous conflict zone in the Middle East, Syria.

Patrick Baz, Regional Photo-Manager [Agence France Presse – MENA]


»Excellent organisational and project management skills.«

Der Spiegel


Reliable, discrete, pleasant, loyal and highly qualified in what he does with realistic expectations and pleasant results. The tasks he was assigned to were a great success.

Solidar Suisse