In previous posts I have discussed ways photography often contributes to “othering” and, conversely, the power it has to bring people together. A new organization, the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, began as a group of photographers and designers “devoted to peacemaking & breaking down stereotypes by displaying the beauty of cultures around the world.” They invited me to help craft their ethics statement, to be signed onto by those who chose to join with them. They have also invited me to be a guest blogger on their new website: (http://www.visualpeacemakers.org/).
My first post on this site is at the address below:
Here is the beginning of the post:
One part of me is a photographer. I’ve worked internationally as an NGO photojournalist. I’ve done marketing and magazine stories. I love landscapes and portraiture (see www.howardzehr.com). But what I like most is doing documentary work. In my experience, documentary photography can help bridge the chasms that separate people. If done respectfully and collaboratively, it can also provide a way for people to share of themselves. My vision, like that of the IGVP, is to use photography as a way to work on the healing edge.
The other passion, and much of my career, has been in the criminal justice field, and specifically a field that I helped found called restorative justice. Unlike criminal justice that tends to divide, restorative justice is essentially a peacemaking approach to justice. Restorative justice is justice on the healing edge.