With over 15% of the world’s population living with some form of disability, the portrayal of people with disabilities in the media and marketing has been limiting, stereotypical and an afterthought.
In order to change the trajectory of this problem, PICHA Stock – a catalyst for change that offers diverse imagery and equal financial rewards with a 50% commission to contributorshas launched Breaking Barriers – a diverse and uplifting array of images and short stories of people living with different forms of disabilities. The visual collection shows diverse people with disabilities in everyday situations – school, work, and in the community – expressing themselves in their own voice and telling their stories.
Josiane Faubert, the founder of PICHA Stock, believes strongly that visual representation of people living with disabilities in a positive and empowered way is critical if we want them to be seen and felt in our society. “With this collection, we set out to transform the visual narrative of people with disabilities by breaking down the barriers that once held them back,” Josiane said. “Just as images have the power to shape ideas, we believe they have the power to move the world – elevating diverse narratives that can alter perceptions, evoke empathy and build community together, irrespective of your abilities.”
The Breaking Barriers collection is built on the premise that visual marketing and media stories should represent and depict people with disabilities in the full range of human experiences that constitute our daily life and portray actual people, not actors portraying disability. Around the world, over 1 billion people live with some form of disability.
More importantly, this collection totally avoids representing the stereotypical, pitiful and patronizing narrative of curing or fixing disability, instead it accurately shows disability as one aspect of a person’s identity, while capturing their talents and contributions.
“We are calling on changemakers and visual diversity activists and inviting photographers interested in growing this collection and storytelling project to add more of their creative contributions to steadily grow this special visual library, which will be part of our premium image library,” Faubert added. “Through partnerships and collaboration, we can optimize the scale, reach and impact of this worthy project.”
The project will support the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations with proceeds from the purchase of images from this collection. Images from the Breaking Barriers collection can be accessed and licensed through PICHA and 10 per cent of every image sale goes to the Ghana Federation for Disability Organizations – the national umbrella body that galvanizes and champions support for people living with disabilities to access resources for their personal and collective development.
PICHA has over the years championed the breakdown of visual stereotypes to create a more authentic visual view of people, especially minorities across media, advertising and social media.