Kazakhstan photographers learned visual storytelling in Almaty

Publised: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New formats and content creating methods are developing at a tremendous rate; the digital age brings journalism to a qualitative level, providing a huge selection of tools and services which can be used to tell a story. How can these be used to draw maximum attention thereto? Where does the fine line lie between the author’s involvement and distance; frankness and delicacy in relation to central figures? How to present an individual story as part of a deeper and global theme, choosing the most suitable tools and to present your project? For six months, the project participants - ten talented Kazakhstan photographers – had been studied visual storytelling and developed their stories under the supervision of NOOR Foundation tutors - a Dutch Foundation dedicated to supporting and bringing participants together as part of the global visual storytellers’ network. The project was supported by the Media Program of Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan with International Journalism Center MediaNet and Nikon Kazakhstan as its partners.

Tanya Habjouqa (USA, Jordan) and Sebastián Liste (Spain) - well-known documentary photographers, winners of numerous awards, came to the training course in Almaty. They helped the participants to finalize the selection of materials for the projects, to choose the form and presentation tools, and taught the intricacies of the correct project presentation to potential donors.

The stories training participants are working on concern some topical and at times sensitive issues from Kazakhstan's life, for example, the project of Vladimir Tretyakov talks about the right of people with mental disorders to build a family and to have children.

Victoria Lee reflects on the unwritten laws of Uyat (Shame) for women; what they have to keep quiet about, whom they have to obey, and what can happen if they break these rules; Maria Grinkevich explores what a modern family looks like, what are the states, thoughts, dreams and fears of someone who is raising a child as a single parent; Lyaila Turlibekova's project is a frank story of a person who has survived depression - a condition that we fail to take seriously and is considered improper to speak about out loud.

Sanat Ongarbaev shows what is remained from the Aral Sea - sad and dangerous consequences of human intervention in the delicate natural equilibrum.

The work on the projects has now entered final straight. Each of the authors worked very hard, immersing themselves in the chosen topic, and in the coming months they will have to finalize their stories, with a view to the recommendations offered by Tanya and Sebastian, composing all the elements into a full visual story.

The material used photos of Vladimir Tretyakov, Sanat Ongarbayev and Laila Turlybekova.