All posts by Julio Etchart

Summit up in one word – confusion

I’m starting with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which sums up my feelings:
“We cannot leave it to our leaders. We must also act together to build a just world.”

President Obama pulls a faceWith this historic quote by the godfather of ‘direct action’, blogger Rajiv Joshi started his contribution for G20Voice, an alternative community made up of 50 of the world’s most interesting bloggers who set up network at the G20 Summit at the Excel Centre.They come from 22 different countries, and between them represent a golbal audience of over 14 million readers and online participants. They were joined by representatives of all the major British NGOs.

Here is the view from John Hilary, the director of War on Want: “World leaders have responded by trying to preserve the system that is responsible for the crisis. Governments have been happy to bail out the bankers with hundreds of billions in public money, yet the poorest have received no help in their struggle to make ends meet. Worse still, with its refusal to accept anything but ‘light touch’ regulation of financial capital, the UK government has become the biggest obstacle to progress.

“Gordon Brown and other G20 leaders are throwing money at the global economic crisis rather than addressing its root causes. The London summit has been used to resurrect the failed policies and institutions of the free market era, in a deal which prioritises short-term action at the expense of fundamental reform.

“War on Want believes a stimulus package for the developing world is desperately needed. But the G20 decision to treble money available to the International Monetary Fund will resurrect an institution which lacks legitimacy.”

Barack Obama was adamant that the summit has tackled the main ussues that needed redressing, namely, accountability of the world banking system and trade imbalance. By agreeing on an economic stimulus package, he hoped that the recession will ‘bottom-up’ and come to an end in the next few months. That remains to be seen.

Behind the lens with Julio Etchart

Julio EtchartJulio Etchart is a renowned photo journalist with an impressive portfolio of social, development and conflict issues around the world for international development agencies and the press. Julio has done a number of commissions with Care Images and is blogging for us. Here is the first of his occasional blogs.

My work in photo journalism has taken me to war zones as well as areas of resolution and development. When I was approached by Care Images to work with them I imagined it to be an ‘easier ride’. I was wrong. The brief from Care Images is to provide realistic images of care as experienced by service users and carers and covering disability and community is a real challenge. I may not be running for cover for fear of being hit by bullets of shrapnel, or witness the misery of refugee camps, but I am fighting against a misguided perception of disability. Through my lens I try to confront prejudice and stereotypes about the way disabled people are seen, literally.

Working for Care Images has given me the opportunity to visit places where elderly and less able members of our society spend their lives, whether it be in a care home or their own home; they are dependant on receiving care. I have focused on documenting the minutiae of tasks of the carers – the parents, relatives and professionals whose work is essential to service users to live with dignity and reach their ability. The main challenge when you are working in this field is to earn the trust of the people whose lives you are documenting. Only by portraying people in a positive and dignified light can this be achieved. That does not mean I always accentuate the positive, rather that I try not to enforce a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’d be interested to hear feedback, both positive and negative on my work for Care images.