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Published: Wednesday 15 June 2005

www.fiftycrows.org

worth a caw

In the aftermath of the recent tsunami, the media sprung into action: we were deluged with images of the tragedy. The fourth estate had once again displayed its proclivity for the sensational. It's almost five months after the tsunami but the mainstream media is conspicuous by its silence on how the victims are faring -- it cannot perceive a tragedy beyond the episodic.

But there are some who try to see matters differently. The website under review is one such attempt. It's stated objective: photography for social change. But www.fiftycrows.org is much more than that. Run by the eponymous California-based non-governmental organisation, the site also uses documentary films to convey its message. And, it deliberately eschews the sensational. So you have the gnarled face of an Argentine woman, actually a member of the Mothers of the Disappeared -- a society of mothers who lost children to military dictatorship in Argentina between 1983 and 2003. And then there are Iraqi children -- orphans of an unjust war.

But the site is not just about tragedy: there are photo essays on nomads in West Asia, on Nigerians protesting against oil companies and even about how elderly people in the US go about their lives. It links to organisations that gives grants to aspiring photographers. So if you believe in the power of images, log onto it.

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