SERVICE: FILM, PHOTOGRAPHY, PRINT, USER-GENERATED & DIGITAL
Goonj is a unique, responsive NGO/Social Movement that recycles and repurposes excess urban household materials into a tool for rural development across 23 states in India.
I have worked with this fascinating and incredibly complex organization for several years now, producing film, photography, and user-generated projects to help raise awareness, funds, and unite the vast community that works across the nation to advance Goonj's vision and goals.
Along with Goonj founder Anshu Gupta I traveled across India documenting urban and rural development projects, visiting and capturing the work of the processing centers in Delhi & Rishikesh, progressively building up an understanding of this unique, incredibly complex, organically responsive NGO.
Like many organizations, Goonj needs to be seen at work to be fully understood, witnessing their operations, their community, the sense of equality and dignity that flows through all of their work - it allowed me to develop a deep connection to the people and the org.
Goonj was the first organization I worked with to develop a user-generated-content [UGC] program.
The idea behind the Goonj Storytellers group was to develop the digital content and communications skills of field team members so they would be able to produce and capture authentic voices and narratives from the most relevant sources.
Since the beginning of 2020, through lockdown and beyond, we meet online every Saturday to review and discuss the storyteller's work and explore the next stage of their development. Whilst the quality of the work instantly exceeded expectations it also quickly became apparent that the process had more value than simply improving the digital content producing skills of the group. Week by week we saw that the group setting itself was such a positive environment that it boosted confidence, formed new bonds and connections, the process instilled the belief in each member that we all have a voice and the ability to communicate critical messages - from both a professional and personal perspective.
Interactive, UGC projects like this, with diverse orgs across the planet, continue to showcase the value of investing in the voice and the vision that exists in all communities.