This coming Wednesday, February 10th, I will give a trial-run presentation of my updated talk (Poverty: Lessons Learned from Photography) to friends in my home. One week later, I will give it at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland, and from there onward numerous other times this year.
I am not the person who originated the currently growing focus on thoughtful, respectful photography of poverty, but after speaking on the subject for years, I am very glad to see it continuing to catch on and expand as an idea. Ground-breaking work has been done on the subject by numerous photographers and charities, and it is becoming more and more common to see a page like this at the website of a charity:
Note that I neither recommend or do not recommend this charity (I have not researched them, but I recommend those wishing to give money to charity, to support the ones recommended by Givewell). But I do like that they have this page, and are being upfront about the long-time problem of exploitative, repetitive and undignified photography of poverty in the name of driving donations to charity. I hope everyone (including me) continues to learn about the best way to represent poverty in a manner that captures context, progress and dignity.
Other links worth reading (I could not find permalinks for all of them, so apologies to future readers if some have expired):
Parents Photograph The Experience of Hunger and Poverty for New Exhibit
The photographers, in this case, were the poor themselves - documenting their own visual story of what their condition meant, and how it was represented.
The Geography of Poverty
Matt Black, who is an extraordinary photographer and has received numerous honors including the Pulitzer Prize, did a 30-state trip around the United States to photograph our country's 'Geography of Poverty'. Worth careful review and contemplation, in the context of the overall problem of how to photograph poverty today.