Journeys to the Edge fundraiser draws support for international reporting

Non-profit organization Journeys to the Edge held a fundraiser for its upcoming trip to Afghanistan at Hycroft Manor Wednesday evening.

Freelance journalist and editor Roberta Staley and her photographer Tallulah of Tallulah Photography are the team behind Journeys. They presented their photo narrative from Columbia, Haiti and South Africa in conjunction with the fundraiser.

“Our main focus is awareness,” Staley explained, as she narrated the images that flashed across the screen. She also described how Journeys to the Edge is working to connect young people in third-world countries with Canadian journalism schools.

“It's part of globalization with young people in the developing world,” said Staley of third-world youth that have no access to journalism education. “The idea to bring [these] young people to Canada to study is really exciting.”

Many people showed up to the event, requiring volunteers to set up additional chairs before the presentation to accommodate the overflow of attendees. Staley had recently contributed a recent article in The Tyee, about new solutions for creating funds for international reporting in an age in which such funding was increasingly scarce.

The photo narrative focussed primarily on the team's previous international trips, but Staley spoke briefly on details for their next trip.

Journeys to the Edge will be working with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, said Staley, helping to determine the objectives and needs of Afghani women. “Although our troops have pulled out of Afghanistan, we can still influence [them] in a positive way,” she said.

Tallulah expressed her sentiments on the difficulty of photojournalism ethics in a foreign country.

“At the [maternity] hospital in Soweto, I wasn't entirely happy with photographing, but on the other hand if I didn't, there would be no photographs. I was stuck in that ethical dilemma. If I went by the book, I would have zero pictures. You're always trying to genuinely get that balance of getting the stories and the pictures, but . . . sometimes the most important thing isn't [getting] a photograph, but being human.”

In addition to ticket sales, raffle prizes were donated to help raise funds, with an artwork silent auction as well.

For more information on Journeys to the Edge, contact Roberta Staley at Roberta [at] robertastaley.ca. 

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