When a photojournalist gets the right shot it reflects the story in a new light, and can influence audiences in new ways. There’s something about seeing the real people and real places behind the world’s most hard-hitting news stories that shows the true emotional depth of the story.
However, it can be frustrating for many photojournalists whose work never gets seen. So how would you feel if you walked out of your house and saw a huge photograph stuck on a nearby wall?
This is how #Dysturb, a photojournalism collective which started in March 2013, tries to reach out to audiences.
Wanting to display their unpublished work, the photojournalists posted huge, striking, black and white versions of their photos all over the streets of Paris, beginning with images from the Central African Republic.
“Each time I finish a story, it’s the same struggle to get my images published…magazines are rarely interested in showing what’s happening in Egypt, in Georgia, in Afghanistan. Sometimes they’ll publish one or two images, but that’s it.
“So, everything started from a very selfish idea. I wanted to show my photographs. I wanted to inform people, show them what I’d seen,” Pierre Terdjman, who started the collective with his co-worker Benjamin Girette, told TIME.
Their website describes them as a collection of “professionals driven by the desire to make information freely accessible through the occupation of urban spaces”.
Posting pictures online and using social networking sites to share work all over the world is one avenue that photojournalists can use. It’s a platform that newspapers or magazines don’t use.
Whether it’s the words we are reading or the images we view, mainstream media should always be questioned. It’s common for the biggest news corporations to prioritise the issues that they think are most important for the public to see.
In a world where social media can spread news stories all over the world via photos, videos and blogs, we are now an audience that can choose to explore the truth behind the stories for ourselves.
And although the internet has given us the upper hand in the ability to research and question the information fed to us, it is still the biggest platform for content; everyone posts pictures online. Whether it’s updating your profile picture every couple of months or letting our Instagram followers know what we have had for dinner, we all do it.
“We are passionate about all the untold stories and unknown great photographers around us.”
This can prove a little difficult when trying to source the truth behind the headlines. Raising the dilemma for photojournalists of how to make their work stand out, and be seen.
Terdjman told Artefact about his inspiration for the collective: “We are passionate about all the untold stories and unknown great photographers around us,” he said.
“We look for the major issues and for the untold stories and then we look for photographers and we choose the best… We always think about a mother with her child in the street. Our pictures can be very strong but if a mother is in the street with a kid they will never have to run away from the poster. It’s our way of respecting the places were we paste,” he added.
When I asked him what kind of response the collective has had from the public, he told me: “The industry has been very receptive and even helpful by collaborating with us. Almost all the photojournalism agencies in the market are working with us.”
Terdjman says that he did not create this style of publishing and this is not the first time that this has been done, however the collective has a passion and determination behind their work, which is clear to see. He told TIME: “We want people to wake up to the news. We want to spark a debate.”
A colleague of theirs, Camille Lempage was killed during the conflict in the Central African Republic in May 2014, and these photojournalists are still risking their lives to bring real photojournalism to the public eye.
Showing their pictures in the streets allows the collective to branch out to meet their own audiences, independent of any editorial control. It’s a refreshing and creative way to showcase photojournalism.
Feature image Flickr: Biphop