I am so thrilled to be able to tell you that we have just launched Shutha.org a free resource for professional photographers in the Majority World aimed at ensuring they can compete in both local and international markets for photography.
Being at the World Press Photo Awards Days here in Amsterdam where South African photographer, Jodi Bieber, has won the World Press Photo of the Year Award, and where photographers from all over the world are gathering to celebrate that fact, we thought it was a brilliant moment to launch Shutha.
Shutha, which is a Zulu slang word meaning “to take a photo”, is the fruit of months of really hard work by our team of writers from different parts of the World. We all met in Maputo at the end of January 2011 to conceptualize the resource and now it has finally all come together. It is divided into two major sections – one which helps to educate on what the markets for photography are and what they look for, and the other which focuses on the photographers themselves, their business and marketing skills and their ability to deliver to markets at the standards the market requires.
I believe Shutha is unique. It is not only free, but it is specifically aimed at professional photographers in the Majority World who often face challenges in terms of access to equipment and slow internet connectivity. Because of this we have designed the resource so that it can be available on DVD and not just online. I am also expecting that training events such as out Digital Campus will be enhanced by this resource. We would love to run training events with the Shutha team in different parts of the African continent. Having said that, we would be most thrilled if other training institutions and organisations took up the resource and built curricula around it. We are making it available on a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND) license.
That it is free does not mean it is cheap. The team that put it together has been really top class.
China-based DJ Clark is a contract multimedia reporter for China Daily, Director of Visual Journalism at the Asia Center for Journalism and Course leader on the MA International Multimedia Journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University (in collaboration with the University of Bolton, UK).
Peter Krogh is an American professional photographer who has served photographers all over the world by writing what is known today as the foremost resource on Digital Asset Management: The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. Peter was a Microsoft Icons of Imaging programme participant, and is recognised as a world leader in digital imaging with his courses on digital workflow sought after in many parts of the world.
UK-based Graeme Cookson is a digital imaging expert who trains scanning companies, picture libraries and publishing companies, including sports photography staff at Reuters, staff at The British Library, The British Museum, and The National Library of Ireland, The Royal Horticultural Society, and The Open University. Graeme is a sought-after speaker at major international conventions in the imaging industry such as CEPIC.
My wife, Rosanne Larsen founded Africa Media Online’s picture library in 2000 and has overseen the expansion of the company’s reach into markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America through its network of distributing agencies. A third generation Mozambican and Director of International Sales, Rosanne plays a pivotal roll in Africa Media Online on the interface between photographers who are supplying images and markets who want images, and was instrumental in the design and development of Africa Media Online’s MEMAT 3.1 media management system.
Dominique Le Roux is a publishing consultant and Director of Moonshine Media, a Cape Town-based company that manages media projects. A South African by birth, Dominique was involved in the conceptualization of the Twenty Ten project and has spent a number of years engaging with the needs of photographers and journalists in various parts of the Majority World. Dominique has almost 20 years experience in the media world as a writer, magazine editor, book publisher, web content manager, television presenter and photographic agent.
Of course it also includes me a fifth generation African, and a former journalist and photographer by trade. To give you some of my background, I founded Africa Media Online in 2000 with a mission to empower fellow Africans to tell Africa’s story from our own perspective and enabling that perspective compete in local and international markets. In pursuit of this passion we developed a digital trade route connecting African photographers and photographic collections to a world-wide audience. The trade route includes training programmes, digitisation services, photo website systems, as well as representing photographers to local and international markets. Shutha is really a development of a programme we developed in 2008 called the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme (APEP).
Shutha.org is one of the outputs of the Twenty Ten: African media on the road to twenty ten (and beyond) project, a partnership between World Press Photo, Freevoice (now rebranded as Free Press Unlimited), Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal and funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The Twenty Ten project trained 128 journalists from 34 countries around Africa who produced media content from an African perspective in the run-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The content was used to produce a coffee table book, a travelling exhibition and was distributed to media around the world. A documentary film on the project was also produced by lokaalmondiaal. Africa Media Online has led the Shutha initiative, which has also benefitted from sponsorship of the Drupal-based web platform by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) who originally developed the platform for its own site and then for their dpBestFlow.org initiative. For more information on the Twenty Ten project, see www.roadto2010.com.
Above: Shutha is part of the Twenty Ten project, a joint initiative of World Press Photo, FreeVoice, Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal which was funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Above are pro photographers who participated in a training workshop run in Accra, Ghana in September 2009 – Back Row left to right: Greg Marinovich (trainer, South Africa), Julius Mwelu (Kenya), Carlos Litulo (Mozambique), Davina Jogi (South Africa), Nikki Rixon (South Africa), Chris De Bode (trainer, Holland); Second Row left to right: Alexia Webster (South Africa), Amos Gumulira (Malawi), Simone Scholtz (South Africa), Akintunde Akinyele (Nigeria), Samantha Reinders (South Africa); Front Row left to right: Michael Tsegaye (Ethiopia), Andrew Esiebo (Nigeria), Adolphus Opara (Nigeria). PHOTO: David A. Larsen