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Old 04-17-2006, 12:47 AM
don_narayan don_narayan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 540
Default Refugee Camps in Africa

I am trying to work it out with a guy I know that works at Refugee camps in Africa. He said if I get a press pass it would make it easier with the UNHCR. Any ideas how I can get a pass? I am going to try and go to camps in Northern Uganda and Tanzania.

Any ideas of what to focus the documenting on? Any story ideas?

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Old 04-17-2006, 02:20 AM
mimi mimi is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 323
Default Re: Refugee Camps in Africa

Narayan -- We just had a showing of Invisible Children about children who are victims of the LRA in the North of Uganda. While they are not in camps, their story is certainly one that needs to be told. You should contact the guys who made the movie. They are recent college grads and they are promoting the film on campuses around the country. They are in the process of making a feature length film about the issue and I would imagine that they would have some good info for you. I found the people that I dealt with from their organization to be very helpful. If you e-mail me, I can send you the name and e-mail of the guy that I dealt with.

BTW, when are you going to be there? It looks like I will be in Kampala for a few months between Jan and June 2007, but I seem to recall that you were going earlier than that.

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Old 04-17-2006, 10:17 AM
markgong markgong is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 265
Default Re: Refugee Camps in Africa

I don't think the issue is not getting a press pass as so much, how you are going to get the photos out. The reason the UN looks for press passes is that they know the photographers that are capturing photos of these very desperate people have a means to get the photographs out, and that they have a reason to be there. I blindly went into Nicaragua last year to do work on poisoned farmers with only a handful of contacts. The photos came out well enough, but I was not able to distribute them to help them in their plight. Ultimately, I felt that while I went with good intentions, my lack of a clear goal and means to move the photos did not help my subjects what so ever.

What is your goal for going to Africa? This should be something you figure out yourself and something you are very passionate about. Try to tie your story with a global event that way, it can be moved once you are done. Magazines and people generally don't care about refugee camps unless people are dying by the hundreds of thousands but if you link it with something that people do care about then you can might be able move it. The photos may look well in your portfolio, but if you have no resources to get the photos out, then I'm afraid your efforts might prove to be fruitless. Don't be the photographer that takes shock photos just because they are startling.

Sorry if that sounded a bit harsh and like a lecture, but it's something that the pros have uttered repeatedly in my photojournalism education. If you want to make a difference in the world and help people, the best place to start is close to home.

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Old 04-17-2006, 06:25 PM
don_narayan don_narayan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 540
Default Re: Refugee Camps in Africa

Hi Mark,

Well, once I get back from Africa I'll start a master's program at Syracuse, have some fresh images and will be good in terms of editing and also in terms of marketing, getting them out. I know I need to come up with a story, develope it, focus it and put it into a global perspective. That is is what I am working on know. Once I start the S.U. program, there will be a lot of resources available to me, contacts as well... editors.

My purpose is also traveling, I love traveling, that came before photography. But, I will be in Africa and that is an opportunity to do some more substancial photography.

If you have any ideas for a photo story, I would appreciate any input. Most of my ideas are coming from what I have already seen, but I don't want to copy work, obviously.

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Old 06-29-2006, 09:35 AM
Furachan Furachan is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,293
Default Re: Refugee Camps in Africa

Hi Narayan: try to link your Uganda pics with the plight of the children refugees from the Lord's Army, a roving band of criminals who press gang children into virtual slavery, sexual and military, It is a hot story at the moment and maybe something you can peg your photos on, ya know?
Cheers, we all support you, buddy!
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