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In my backyard
All the photographers in this dossier address issues and tell stories they found close to home. This allowed them to go deeper, to understand better what needed to be addressed and documented. To go beyond the surface is what we need photographers to do, if we aim to understand our own society better and the society of others.
The theme for this issue of OjodePez came partly from frustration, I must admit. I know several very good photographers. They are committed to their stories, and truly open and motivated to finding issues they feel the need to be addressed. But, then those issues always seem to be on the other side of the world. It sometimes seems photographers think the only issues worth their interest are those which are far away as if there are no problems here, in our backyard, that needs addressing. There are serious issues in Western society that need addressing — just as there are issues all around the world that need to be investigated and documented. But to address issues, one needs access and an understanding of the situation, the people, and society. And that takes time and investment, and is perhaps only made possible by photographers who work in a country, in a society they know best —their own backyard. Going to exotic places is a great way to be inspired, and we need professional photojournalists to document the crises, the difficulties, the conflicts, the beauty, and the power that is to be found all across the world. But why not also look in your own backyard?