CURATORS and photo artists have urged government at all levels to use art of photo-storytelling to promote policies and programmes for effective citizens orientation.
They made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the 2023 and seventh edition of the Abuja Photo Festival.
According to the stakeholders, emerging trends in information dissemination in the new media age demands that government show more interest in the photo storytelling sub-sector of the creative industry.
They said it was imperative for government at all levels to deliberately employ the services of photographers in projecting programmes and developments to counter the menace of fake news and misinformation.
Aisha Augie-Kuta , Photographer and Creative artist at the center of Art and Photography, said :“ It is important that government pays attention to how its stories are told.
“If you notice, a couple of years ago, we did not have photographers in the government space, nobody knew what was happening.
“But today you have to bring your photos as proof what you are doing for the people to see,if not it will not be appreciated.
“Whether in health policies, sports, creative and cultural sectors and infrastructure photo is the fastest and most effective ways to tell such story.”
Ibrahim Bassi, said : “I recently travelled to Maiduguri and against the narrative of the place being a dead end I decided to put something together and post it.
“Through the videos and pictures people were wondering how come what they hear on the news is different from what was seen in the pictures”
“Even in the last election and during ENDSARS you saw how photography was able to tell the story to even persons that were not there.
“Technology has taken over everything, I can take a photograph of you here and turn it around and make it look like you are elsewhere.
“This is why photo story telling should be taken very serious if we really want to drive positive narrative and mutual understanding ino ur country.”
Osaze Efe, the curator and creative director of the festival, , told NAN that the annual event was to create a platform for young talents to find their path in their journey of photography.
He said photo news was a veritable tool to drive positive social change adding that young Nigerians need to be encouraged to venture into photo-jounalism to provoking youths interest in arts and photography.
“The core of what we do is for social change, where we use photography to highlight social issues.
“For example some of the arts and photos express the social issue that we are facing in Nigeria like electricity issues.
“There are photo stories of children with visual impairment but still goes to school and also others that address issues of human right.
“We also have photos on solar energy, the electricity challenges in Nigeria and how solar energy is coming to support local communities and support local economy.
” In essence, we use photos to raise questions and open doors for dialogue in a way that prompt the viewer to take action that make the society better,” he said.
The photo works of seasoned artists were exhibited at the festival including the works of Ashia Audu, Hakeem Salaam, George Osodi, Ukandi Atsu, Fatima Yusuf,Ene Inalegwu and Jackie Ore , among others.(NAN)
November 6, 2023 @ 8:37 GMT|