The healing power of photography as an art, is indisputable as well as being a powerful tool during the coronavirus period. The creative forces of photographs help us think outside the box and make use of our imaginations which in turn, helps connect us with our inner selves.
Even during a pandemic that prevents us from experiencing art and culture alongside others in the same physical space; photographs have helped people cope.
As Africa’s largest photography community, focused on youth empowerment, creativity, job creation, and creating a sustainable value chain in the photography space, we want to be a beacon of light even in these trying times. Although most of us are confined in our homes because of the lockdown, this shouldn’t stop us from being creative. Even from the comfort of our homes, we are using our creativity as a means to finding beauty around us as a tool to lift the weight of isolation off our minds.
Art has been shown to calm neural activity in the brain, which may decrease anxiety and restore emotional balance; and that was why we initiated the #PWAClickAtHome challenge in partnership with our friends at Xiaomi Nigeria across our social media platforms in April, 2020. We understand that people around the globe are on lockdown and our greatest desire is for members of our community to maximize this period for creating art: to look around their spaces and create amazing photographs (either by using their smartphones or digital cameras).
We acknowledge that photography can’t cure a virus or raise the dead. But what it can do is serve as an antidote to those feeling lonely, depressed, or anxious. It can be a path to clarity, as well as a form of repair, providing new paths and ways to think. Photography as a general language, can help to create more awareness also about this virus.
Photography is art. Art is transcendental. Art doesn’t just entertain but heals. And as photographers, we are not just artists, we are healers.
ETI-INYENE GODWIN AKPAN, popularly known as SIR INYENE, is a multi-award winning Visual Storyteller with a difference, and one who is passionate about capacity building for budding photographers in Africa.He is the Chief Executive Officer at The SIR Inyene Company; a renowned media house located in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the Founder/Executive Director of Africa's largest photo community; PhotoWaka Africa. Between 2018-2020, he served as the Lead Photographer for Social Good Lagos; a sub-community of the United Nations Foundation. He is also a member of the African Photojournalism Database (APJD) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).