Noa blogger Style with a smile


Interview

"Newsrooms, film & photography sets need to reflect the diverse world we live in."  


with Eva Verbeeck

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER & FILM MAKER

With her dad being a professional runner and her mum a designer, Eva was shaped by a nomadic lifestyle, which opened her world. First willing to become a lawyer to address human rights issues, she chose another angle: shed light on people and cultures - their learnings and challenges - through documentary photography and short films. Her work has been published by a variety of publications such as National Geographic, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post (…)

We discussed her immersion into the projects she works on such as documenting the reality of climate migration caused by water scarcity in Kenya, or working with first-generation farmers in the US; how surrounding herself with a community of mentors was key in her professional development; and the importance of organised collectives to ensure that the profession evolves with narrators whom reflect the diversity of our worlds and its issues. 
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Producer/Written by/ Creative Director: Eva Verbeeck | Director/DP/Editor: Spencer MacDonald

WHAT LED YOU TO INVESTIGATING CLIMATE MIGRATION? 

As a kid I travelled a lot to Kenya. My dad had a lot of friends there amongst the professional runner community. These childhood bounds stayed alive and made me connect to the people and the land at a deep level. Later on, I was asked to photograph a project to restore a water facility. I started researching the draughts that had been happening year after year. 

I realized that non-nomadic communities who had been living on a land for centuries now had to move because their water sources were gone, completely dried out. I looked for funding for the project and started this long journey of trying to document the impact of such phenomenon. 

"Reach out to people you admire. Don't be afraid to ask."

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIVING WITH THE COMMUNITIES TOUCHED BY THE ISSUE?

The way I was welcomed and openly received as an outsider is something to be learned from. I created a deep connection with the people by trying to share their story. 

"I realised that once I declutter and get rid of things, life feels less heavy to me."

WHAT DO YOU THINK MADE A DIFFERENCE TO PROPEL THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER? 

For me it has helped to have mentors. I surrounded myself with people that I look up to, and who I can share my questions with. It was very important to find a circle of women photographers sharing the same challenges as mine. 

I am part of the collective Women Photograph led by Daniella Zalcman. It gathers over 400 women and non-binary visual journalists. It does an amazing job pushing editors and publications to hire more women. It has been wonderful to see the connections arising from it; to share resources and feedback. It's a very engaged community, which makes it so much stronger. 

Producer/written by: Eva Verbeeck | Director/DP/Editor: Spencer MacDonald



FOR YOUR PROJECT "AGE OF THE FARMER", YOU HAVE WORKED HANDS-ON WITH FIRST-GENERATION FARMERS, IN THE WEST COAST OF THE US AND CANADA. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THIS EXPERIENCE? 

After my Law studies, I wanted a change of scenery and to experience a completely different lifestyle. Meet people outside of the bubble I was evolving in. While working in these farms and being outdoors, I was loving it so much that sense of responsibility arose; a sense of taking care of what you love, trying to live more in line with the environment. It made me more conscious of what I bring in my life, what I buy, what I produce. I realised that once I declutter and get rid of things, life feels less heavy to me. 

Also, the beautiful reward of the harvest and the joy that comes out of it after such hard work. That was special. A general principle that can be applied in any field of life. 

CAN YOU SHARE RESOURCES THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR WORK?

Yes, the work of another collective called The Authority Collective, working to push publications to hire more non-binary and gender expansive people content creatorsIt’s time that the media looks at who’s been making the content for them. Newsrooms, film & photography sets need to reflect the diverse world we live in. 

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Discover Eva's latest projects on her website.


SEND EVA YOUR QUESTIONS

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