Working together is a one day workshop that aims to create an in-person dialogue between photographers about sexual harassment, gender and it's intersections, and safety in the field. It includes discussions of strategies to prevent negative interactions, to deal with them when they happen, and to work past them afterwards. The goal of the workshop is to help photographers work together across lines of gender difference to support each other, and to promote gender equity and safety in the photojournalism field.
The workshop includes group discussions, small group scenarios, defining of harassment, and new tools to mitigate it. It attempts to build consensus around ways create a culture of inclusion and equity of opportunity within photography.
Working Together isn’t a sexual harassment training or a forum for grievance. It is a day of focused, guided conversation and reflection in an environment that invites different perspectives and points of view and works toward a better understanding of the problem and ways to solve it. The hope is that talking things out will help us all make photojournalism more equitable, more responsible, and safer for all of it’s professionals.
Why a workshop? Because sexual harassment and gender discrimination, both within our industry and in the societies we document, can prevent women identified photographers from reaching their full potential as journalism professionals. It helps contribute to an industry often dominated by men, and minimizes important voices that are vital to the audiences we serve.
Photojournalism, as in our wider society, is living through an important moment where people of good will are trying to grapple with these challenges in an engaged and open way.
We believe that no one is better positioned to find solutions to these problems than ourselves. Photographers are creative, resourceful, and dedicated. They can figure this out better than outside consultants or out of touch HR professionals. We think men and women want to support each other as we work to help photojournalism more responsibly inform a wider world in need of change. With a little direction and the right tone in the room, we can advance that goal. That’s why we started Working Together.
who we are
Working Together was created by Maddie McGarvey and Victor Blue, two working photojournalists. We developed the curriculum together and run the workshops, with the help of volunteer facilitators who help guide the conversation. We are not lawyers or human resources professionals- just concerned photographers.
In 2011, we got a bunch of photographers together in a room at Ohio University and had a focused, constructive conversation that had two aims- to share ways women identified photographers could work more safely, and to educate their male colleagues about the unique challenges they faced and how to better support them. Our idea was that if we got men and women together to speak and listen to each other face to face they could find a way forward.
The success of that afternoon drove us to develop the idea further, and in early 2018, we expanded our curriculum to address the harassment women face within our industry. We partnered with The Bronx Documentary Center and RISC- Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues- to put on two workshops in New York. Over two days we had a total of 33 photographers participate.
We love photography and the photo community so we believe it’s up to all of us to create the professional environment we want to work in. We’ve seen how effective an open, honest dialogue can be to make photojournalism more inclusive and more effective.
Are you interested in hosting a workshop? Do you want to hear more about what we are trying to do? Do you want to chat about these issues? Reach out to us at the email address below. We look forward to hearing from you.