An exhibition featuring the work of renowned photojournalist Nick Danziger is on display at the ArtGeo Gallery in Busselton.
It is the exclusive WA presentation of Revisited 2005 - 2010 - 2015, an exhibition which shows how and if people’s lives changed over a decade in light of the Millenium Development Goals.
In 2000, the United Nations agreed upon eight goals to help eliminate poverty, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and create a global partnership for development.
The project was initially commissioned by the international development and advocacy organisation World Vision to document the lives of women and children in eight countries around the world.
Mr Danziger said the work was to see how the goals fared at improving the quality and standard of living for people across the world, particularly in developing nations.
He thought the real way to gauge whether the goals worked was to go back and revisit the people who were photographed in the project to see how their lives were or were not progressing.
“Years later I decided to go back and re-find all the people, they were less interested in that but for me it was an important thing to go back and do.
“I found all but one person, and I went back at least three times to everyone.”
Mr Danziger said it was an amazing experience to document and photograph the people throughout the 10 year period.
“In the media you only usually go and see people once and you hear someone’s story,” he said.
“When you meet a friend you do not get to know that much about them in the beginning but as time progressed you build a relationship and you get a more complete view of their life.
“I became good friends with some of the people. In one case, in Cambodia the woman became a grandmother, she was only a mother when I first met her and she wanted to tell me something not even her children knew.
“It was very moving and intimate at times, and difficult because of that.”
A lot of Mr Danziger’s work, which takes him around the world, is based on social justice issues and he also runs a charity called the Cinema Human Rights and Advocacy.
The organisation trains “activists and filmmakers to use, produce and distribute films to expose human rights abuses, alter public perceptions and advocate change.”
Mr Danziger said he was keen that storytelling advocated for change and for the better.
“It is really difficult to say whether [my work influences change] hopefully it is informative, whether it really changes things I do not know,” he said.
“One of the things I learnt from this project is that real change has to come from different policies and governments at a government level.”
Mr Danziger was originally an artist - after being inspired by the character of Belgian journalist TinTin - he replaced an art brush for a camera.
“My photography is about people and social justice, it is about someone within their own context and the emotion so when you look at the picture you have an idea of how they live,” he said.
“Hopefully the images are a kind of window into other people’s lives because quite often people do not have a voice.”