The Lense of Women Gives The Unheard A Voice
Images are powerful. They can make the viewer feel a certain way, see what the photographer sees, and ponder new questions.
An image can often communicate what words cannot, which is why people can use photography to give voice to what matters to them. Using images, three experienced photographers took on the task to portray how women are affected by migration. Danielle Villasana, Miora Rajaonary, and Saiyna Bashir became part of The Everyday Projects in National Geographic that gives voice to the unheard.
From the mid-19th century, photography has shaped society's perception of events. Photojournalism captured beginning with the Vietnam War. Unlike any previous war, with photojournalism and videos, the atrocities of the war were made known to the public in a scale like never before. Seeing the realities of war greatly contributed to the anti-war movement within the US, leading troops to be gradually retreated from Vietnam. Imagery shifted the perception of the masses, creating real change. Never before had Americans back home been so connected to war overseas, marking a new era of global connectivity and technological development. Photojournalism continues to impact our perception through photo driven magazines such as LIFE and The New York Daily News, challenging social injustices and advocating for change.
A photo that made history: Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnamese chief of the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong official Nguyen Van Lem on a Saigon street early in the Tet Offensive, February 1, 1968. Photographer Eddie Adams reported that after the shooting, Loan approached him and said, “They killed many of my people, and yours too,” then walked away. (Eddie Adams/AP)
Similar to the past, the women currently working on The Everyday Projects are creating awareness to the hardships of migrating women to bring about social change.
Miora Rajaonary is as document photographer based in South Africa who is currently focusing on identify and the impacts as well as adaptations climate change have caused in Africa. The other two photographers in this project, Danielle Villasana and Saiyna Bashir, are accomplished photojournalists who address human rights, healthcare, gender, and migration issues world wide.
Capturing the stories of struggles such as sexual assault, terrorism, and domestic violence, The Everyday Projects photographers gave voices to over 270 million immigrants, migrants, and refugees. More than half of that number were women who escaped from famine or violence. The photographers brought attention to the women who travelled to wealthier countries to take jobs in, for example, healthcare, childcare, agriculture, domestic work, and manufacturing. At the event showcasing Women and Migration, the artists took turns telling stories of their encounters with women that fled from dire situations. The photos that they took not only brought the audience a closer look into the lives of these women migrants, but it also emphasized the problems that can hopefully lead to action and change.