“You can’t love something and become a champion for it if you don’t know it exists…” -Thomas Peschak
Those are the words of Ocean Photographer Thomas Peschak, and they could not ring more true to our mission at EWC!
To become a champion for anything you first have to know it is out there! The world is full of storytellers photographing, documenting, recording, and researching people, places, and things we have never heard of before. And it is our responsibility to spread their work!
Taking a step back, though, who are these storytellers? What makes them tick? How do they want their messages to be used?
Thomas Peschak is a conservation photographer with a particular focus on ocean photography. His work with Save our Seas, the Manta Trust, and the International League of Conservation Photographers has helped to give our oceans a voice in the conversation about conservation.
In his unconventional TED Talk, he talks about the important place photography and storytelling play in turning the tide for many of the sea’s greatest problems.
Here are some of his remarkable insights…
“We all have the ability to be creators of hope.”
Every one of us has the power to be a difference maker. Each of us should be on a mission to share the images and stories that can raise us all up.
If we stay silent on issues of conservation but are more than willing to weigh in with our opinions on the latest celebrity gossip, we are not adding to a wider and more important dialogue, we are detracting from it.
As internet users we have to power to vote with our clicks, to affect change with our shares, and to shine spotlights on discoveries that raise us all up.
We are in an adolescent phase when it comes to the way we use the internet. Humans are aware of the power to create change, but in order for that to happen, we have to use it as a tool for communicating across ideologies and disciplines, and not as a way of finding voices that only sound like ours.
We have the power to change our dialogue about his world, it is now or responsibility to harness it!
As we become activists and change makers, we have to remember that “the best way to affect change is to sell love.” Particularly in a mediascape of shame and fear, messages of hope and possibility will stand out above the rest.
Our activism in the digital age need not become a place for polarization, but a means of truly listening to voices contrary to our own and becoming more educated global citizens.
Stay beautiful & keep laughing!
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” -Victor Borge
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- Peschak, Thomas. “Dive into an Ocean Photographer’s World.” TED.com. TED, Oct. 2015. Web. 15 July 2016. <https://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_peschak_dive_into_an_ocean_photographer_s_world?language=en>. ↩