Four years ago, in 2010, when the role of ZoneZero as part of the ecosystem of projects belonging to the Fundación Pedro Meyer had just begun to be defined, World Press Photo contacted us.
They conducted interviews with many important figures and institutions from the field of photography in Mexico and are now seeking to define possible alternatives for collaboration. Their goal was to develop an educational program aimed at photojournalists. The first exchanges generated various points of tension, but each debate allowed points of agreement to be consolidated. These points arose out of reflections that are still relevant today.
The first of these was a diagnosis already in evidence at the time: The traditional paper used by photographers could not continue to be the same in an environment where the sources of photographic material multiplied at an exponential rate.
The second point of consideration sought to identify which tool might be of use both for photojournalists and for the wider public already participating in the educational activities of the Fundación Pedro Meyer and following the content produced by ZoneZero. The choice was clear and unequivocal: Storytelling, which on being translated was replaced by “Fotonarrativa” in order to highlight the photographic component. The narrative of Pedro Meyer’s I Photograph to Remember, one of the founding pieces of Digital Storytelling, and its stance that a photographer is above all a storyteller, were relevant to this choice. However, it became as or more important to consider that in an era in which images and information are available in their current quantities and immediacy, context is the only thing that allows us to pick something out against the background noise.
Following several years of collaboration with World Press Photo, four editions of the Diplomado de Fotonarrativa y nuevos medios, and a rate of technological changes that were barely imaginable then, photo narrative has become even more important. During this period we have learned and changed.
Our ideas surrounding photography and narrative continue to transform. World Press Photo now has multimedia categories including the categories of Long Feature, Short Feature and Interactive Documentary. The effectiveness of photo narrative has meant that more diverse areas are being taken up. Each of us is the sum of our personal, family, collective and even fictional histories. Understanding ourselves and making ourselves understand begins with knowing how to tell those stories.
Today, before the close of the year 2015, World Press Photo and the Fundación Pedro Meyer worked together once again to make possible the first World Press Photo Masterclass Latin America held at Casa Coyoacán, the southern branch of the foundation in Mexico City. And its publishing arm, ZoneZero, offers the ideal space to disseminate the results of the projects undertaken by the 12 participants during this week of intense work.