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MPB supports refugee project, Putting Ourselves in the Picture

Posted on Dec 2, 2022

Pro photographers help female migrants tell their stories through their own lens

We hear about the refugee crisis growing every day and as photographers, we aren’t as separated as we may think; there is an important role we can play. Putting Ourselves in the Picture is a UK-wide training and mentorship programme, that has helped 22 refugee women and non-binary peoples develop skills via photography workshops and mentoring sessions throughout the year. The project had the support of leading photographers and experience curators from cultural organisations across the UK.

Propelled by Fast Forward: Women in Photography and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the project got off the ground with the help of Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Anna Fox.

The programme empowers women that have faced some of the greatest challenges in life, and has the potential to create real change. Anna, proud of the achievements so far, noted the excitement on the women’s faces when they received the cameras. “It reminded me of when I got my first camera”, she recalls, “it’s something really different to taking pictures on your phone.” Vitally, the participants were gifted the equipment following the end of the project, having an even greater impact on their lives.

Watch the full video interview with Prof. Anna Fox below

Programme teacher Carolyn Mendlesohn was the first to reach out to MPB for support, commenting: “It was wonderful for the women I worked with (at Impressions Gallery) to have access to good quality kit. Not only did this help to build up their photography skills, it helped them tell their unique and powerful stories in a compelling way. This is the start of an exciting journey for them. For me, it has been a privilege to be a part of this project, and I have loved seeing their visual narratives develop. I am over the moon that MPB have supported us by supplying the women with cameras; it feels like a perfect fit”.

MPB, the world’s largest platform for used photography and videography equipment, has been a partner since the project’s inception in June 2021. It gifted eight camera and 16 lenses to the Project, providing a much-needed lifeline.

Matt Barker, Founder and CEO at MPB said: “When I started MPB, I did so with the ambition of making photography more accessible and affordable, helping people to fulfil their ambitions in a sustainable way. This project is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring that to life and support these women in telling their unique stories. It brings great pleasure knowing that they will be able to continue to tell their stories beyond completion of the programme”.

With the support of cultural organisations across the UK, including Autograph and Women For Refugee Women in London, National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, Impressions Gallery in Bradford and Work Show Grow, Putting Ourselves in the Picture has culminated in a 250-page book, and a series of podcasts and short films. You can purchase the book from Trolley Books.

Impressions Gallery is a charity that helps people understand the world through photography, and acts as an agent for change. Find out more here.

For more information about the project and Fast Forward, please click here.

Read more about the Putting Ourselves in the Picture Project here.

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