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"Jonathan has photographed International Alert's work in three different continents. He always becomes part of the team, needs a minimum amount of support and delivers stunning images which convey a real sense of humanity."
Phil Vernon
Director of Programmes
International Alert
"Whether on a farm in East Africa, a Trawler in the Atlantic or a Royal Palace in London, Jonathan consistently delivers photography that makes us look good to our clients. "
Paul Campbell
Director of Purple Patch Group
"Quality photography is absolutely essential to our brand. It’s who we are, what we do and the impact we have on the world. And that means working with a photographer like Jonathan, who understands what we are trying to achieve with our work."
THOM MCKAY,
Director of Communications
RTKL.COM
"Jonathan has been a pleasure to work with, professional, well organised, creative and always delivering to the brief. Considering the breadth of topics we have asked him to work on around the world, he has also shown himself to be resourceful and flexible. "
Judith Batchelar,
Director of Sainsbury's Brand
"Jonathan has travelled to Intergen's power plants in Mexico, Australia and Europe and produces consistently high quality photography. Intergen's values are all about a high-quality work force for which we consider him part of. "
Mark Somerset,
Vice President
InterGen Europe
"Waiting on a quote from the British Red Cross "
Wendy Solesbury MBE
Youth Development Manager, British Red Cross
"We work with photographers that try to capture the essence of our work and reflect our company values in terms of design. Jonathan produces excellent results every time with creative flair. He is highly professional to work with as well as personable. "
Sean Collins & James Felstead
Directors of CGL Architects.
"Whether on a farm in East Africa, a Trawler in the Atlantic or a Royal Palace in London, Jonathan consistently delivers photography that makes us look good to our clients. "
Paul Campbell
Director of Purple Patch Group
"Jonathan has been a pleasure to work with, professional, well organised, creative and always delivering to the brief. Considering the breadth of topics we have asked him to work on around the world, he has also shown himself to be resourceful and flexible. "
Judith Batchelar,
Director of Sainsbury's Brand
"Waiting on a quote from the British Red Cross "
Wendy Solesbury MBE
Youth Development Manager, British Red Cross
"Jonathan Banks has captured the faces of different people that vividly represent the human side of the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh where each individual remains above all a human being with his or her right to be what they are, wherever they live, with dignity and in peace. "
EU Ambassador in Yerevan
"Jonathan has travelled to Intergen's power plants in Mexico, Australia and Europe and produces consistently high quality photography. Intergen's values are all about a high-quality work force for which we consider him part of. "
Mark Somerset
Vice President, InterGen Europe
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humanitarian

07

Sep

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

  • By Jonathan Banks

This years theme for the United Nations International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”, to help raise global awareness of air pollution and its devastating impact on health. The UN is very clear about the scale of the problem: Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to global public health, and it particularly impacts children, women and the elderly, with increased links to diseases such as dementia, diabetes, COVID-19, cardio-vascular and neurological diseases. Developed countries have greatly improved their air quality in recent years but many developing countries are, still reliant on wood and other solid fuels for cooking and heating. The result is that many vulnerable and marginalized people also suffer from the worst air quality.

I worked with the organisation DelAgua in Rwanda, photographing their cook stove project. I travelled throughout Rwanda with the DelAgua team photographing the distribution days, community health worker visits and how the program is improving the lives of those involved. Over 3 billion people still cook over polluting fires, a major contributor to carbon emissions, deforestation and climate change. Cooking over open fires or inefficient stoves emits one-quarter of global black carbon emissions—the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. Household air pollution is the leading environmental cause of premature death and disability, ahead of unsafe water and lack of sanitation, causing more deaths than Malaria, HIV and TB combined. Clean cookstoves are vital to tackle both global challenges and they also provide a plethora of other benefits that impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UN calculates the cost of inaction at $ 2.4 trillion and describes the provision of clean cooking solutions as nothing less than a human rights issue.

The DelAgua cook stove is designed to work for the reality of the lives of the families who use them. It uses wood, but just small pieces of twig and tinder, which rural families can gather without encroaching on forestry. Crucially the design of the stove increases thermal efficiency resulting in quicker cooking speeds and much lower fuel requirements. The stove requires at least 50% less wood than a traditional fire. The stove is durable and saves the equivalent of 14 tons of CO2 emissions over its seven- year life. 

Education and ongoing support is central to the work. Every family is visited by a Community Health Worker who explains the dangers of cooking on a traditional fire and household air pollution and the health advantages of cooking on the stove and they also make sure the family know how to use it. Behaviour change is immediate and lasting. 99% of stoves are still in daily use after 2 years.

14

Jul

World Report Award 2021 | Documenting Humanity

  • By Jonathan Banks

I am honoured to be a FINALIST in the eleventh edition of the World Report Award 2021 | Documenting Humanity in the SINGLE SHOT category. My entry of “A Boy from the Crowd” photographed in Liberia for International Alert was shortlisted from over 13,000 photographs taken by  photographers around the world. An international jury composed of Lauren Steel, Svetlana Bachevanova, Gary Knight, Alberto Prina and Aldo Mendichi selected the work which will be exhibited during the annual edition of the Festival of Ethical Photography in Lodi, Italy.

The World.Report Award aims at a new form of social commitment through photography. The award gives attention to work focusing on people and their social or cultural stories; public or private, minor or crucial, major human tragedies or smaller daily life stories, changes and immutability.

Every year the contest creates a fresco that tells the stories of our planet, its great changes and its intimate and personal relationships connecting human beings.

The World Report Award|Documenting Humanity isn’t simply a contest that through its prizes economically supports those who are actively engaged in this difficult sector of photography, but it also represents a way for all participants to enter into a supportive community that they have built over the past 10 years and composed of professionals who are already collaborating with the organization.

The winners in every category will be announced on August 30th.

12

Jul

The Venice International Art Fair 2021: Fragmented Identities

  • By Jonathan Banks

I am proud to announce that I am part of the Venice International Art Fair: “Fragmented Identities, exhibiting at The Room Contemporary Art Space in Venice, from July 12 to August 01, 2021. Venice International Art Fair is a contemporary art exhibition that presents collective and solo projects by leading and emerging international artists. The 13th edition will represent a forum for direct exchange of ideas and contacts between collectors, artists, photographers, designers, and art professionals. The art fair features paintings, sculptures, photography art, installations, video art and live performance.

Borders Art Fair is divided into three appointments (Bodies + Cities Skin, Fragmented Identities and Future Landscapes). I was invited to exhibit three works as part of the Fragmented Identities collection.

Fragmented Identities analyses human beings as living mosaics composed of many different pieces, that form who we are. The challenge is to recognise that there is not just one perspective of knowing someone. In understanding our fragmented identities, we will be able to break down all the barriers and boundaries that divide us.

I am exhibiting three photographs from my series of “Portraits of Survivors of Torture” produced in collaboration with TASSC International. The portraits feature survivors of Torture from around the world who fled their home countries seeking safety, recovery, and political asylum. Most were tortured by repressive governments for “reasons” as varied as joining opposition political organisations, criticising their governments publicly, refusing to join the ruling party, being related to a political dissident or because of their religion or sexual orientation. These men and women were persecuted for standing up for freedom of speech or assembly or for exposing government corruption, fighting against gender-based violence or forced early marriage for girls.

Survivors are the strongest and most effective voice in the campaign to abolish torture.

Not all survivors want to be recognised for fear of repercussions to their friends and family. Each survivor selected a photograph that was significant to them. The photograph was then projected over the individual, sometimes obscuring their identity as per their request.

The portraits invite viewers to see the survivors in the fullest measure of their humanity— to look beyond whatever pre-conceived notions they might have about refugees and asylum seekers and see them as individuals with very human connections to place and home.

Venice International Art Fair, organized by ITSLIQUID Group in collaboration with Venice Events and ACIT Venice – Italian-German Cultural Association.

17

May

16th Pollux Awards

  • By Jonathan Banks

The 16th Pollux Awards have been announced and I am pleased to share that my three entries into the singles categories of Fine Art, Culture and Children have all received honourable mentions.

The Pollux Awards is one of the most important annual photography competitions which attracts talent from around the world. Hosted by Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, the 16th Pollux Awards was juried by Stephen Perloff, photographer, writer, founder and editor of The Photo Review and The Photography Collector. The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards recognises artists’ talent through competitions juried by industry leaders, exposing their work in the media, publishing their work, hosting collective exhibitions, and by exhibiting their work online and in the Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography.

Selected works of the Winners and Honourable mentions will exhibited at the FotoNostrum Gallery, Barcelona in late 2021.

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