A visual story of empowerment in Burkina Faso

Luca Damiani, artist, photographer and visual sociologist, presents his photo documentary created during 2011-2012 depicting part of Amnesty International’s Africa Human Rights Education Project (AHREP) in Burkina Faso

In the video above, Luca Damiani, artist, photographer and visual sociologist, shares his insights from his study of Amnesty International’s human rights education work in Burkina Faso. He explains his innovative multi-disciplinary approach combining the perspectives of the artist, the documentary photographer and the sociologist to create a narrative purposefully told without using words to visually show the processes and impact of human rights education from concept to delivery. Offering a window on human rights education with children, adults and elders in Burkina Faso, his publication and gallery of images go beyond depicting workshop, theatre and active participation methodologies, to capture the feeling of empowerment which leads to social change. As an artist, he sought to demonstrate how visual communication could reflect the emotion of this process and how the photo reportage could create engagement with audiences far beyond the project to open new avenues and explore further the potential of human rights education.

View the photo documentary

In the video below, Luca shares his expertise on the process of crafting a visualization of human rights violations through photography. He explains how he brings together real stories and real images of violations of children’s rights in diverse situations to increase social awareness in Burkina Faso and internationally.

He reflects on the risks and dangers of taking and producing photographs on subjects such as child trafficking and child prostitution, and the need for social and cultural preparation for fieldwork. Also critical to being able to produce a visual understanding of children’s rights violations in Burkina Faso, was his own specific and detailed knowledge of human rights, combined with artistic and aesthetic considerations such as lighting and composition. The final product of this project is a visual narrative which can engage audiences through different contexts of human rights practice, including human rights education, communications and campaigns.

A visual ethnography. Copyright © Luca Damiani - Amnesty International
A visual ethnography. Copyright © Luca Damiani – Amnesty International

View the photo documentary on violations of child rights in Burkina Faso

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