Does Instagram Work when it’s Important?

Jun 25 • Instagram, Social Media • 1699 Views

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Is a picture really worth a thousand words? In this day and age, where every cell phone has a camera, selfies are ubiquitous, and every mom with an SLR point and shoot considers herself a photographer, is it really still possible to make an impact with photography? Charles Ommanney thinks so.

 

Fueled by a desire to more clearly understand the immigration debate, photographer Charles Ommanney has been traveling the border between United States and Mexico, telling stories of people through his art. Ommanney, who is currently based in Miami, spent three weeks traveling along the border and documenting the experiences of people, many of whom have traveled for many difficult weeks believing the promise of “coyotes,” only to have their journeys end in disappointment.

 

McAllen, Texas. A group of women and two unaccompanied children are detained on a levee. Exhausted and hungry the group appeared relieved to be found. It turned out they had travelled from Guatemala and Honduras together. Part 1 of My film ‘The Fence’ comes out this coming Monday@msnbcphoto

 

Ommanney is not new to photojournalism, having covered stories from the break up in Eastern Europe in the 1990s to conflicts in Rwanda, Sudan and the Congo. He’s worked for Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and other publications, and was assigned by Newsweek to the White House in Washington DC between 2001 and 2008. These days, however, he’s delving into a new frontier: social media. Through his Instagram feed especially, he’s spreading information across the Internet.

 

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A US border patrol agent scans the Rio Grande river near McAllen,Texas. The area has become ground zero for immigrants attempting to enter the US with some saying as many as 30,000 people are arriving in the area each month, overwhelming authorities. Over the course of three weeks in January I drove along the US/Mexico border from Brownsville, TX, to Friendship Park, CA – the southeastern and southwestern points of the United States, respectively – on assignment for MSNBC. Along this journey, I interviewed, photographed and filmed farmers, environmentalists, activists, and law enforcement officials, in an effort to better understand the complexities of life along the United States' southern border. In the coming days, I will be posting a series of photographs from this journey in the lead-up to the launch of my first short film, “The Fence”. Stay tuned as we approach the launch of "The Fence", which you’ll find at www.msnbc.com/photography #immigration #usmexicoborder #mexico #border #brownsville #texas #friendshippark #california #msnbc @msnbcphoto

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A US border patrol agent scans the Rio Grande river near McAllen,Texas. The area has become ground zero for immigrants attempting to enter the US with some saying as many as 30,000 people are arriving in the area each month, overwhelming authorities. Over the course of three weeks in January I drove along the US/Mexico border from Brownsville, TX, to Friendship Park, CA – the southeastern and southwestern points of the United States, respectively – on assignment for MSNBC. Along this journey, I interviewed, photographed and filmed farmers, environmentalists, activists, and law enforcement officials, in an effort to better understand the complexities of life along the United States’ southern border. In the coming days, I will be posting a series of photographs from this journey in the lead-up to the launch of my first short film, “The Fence”. Stay tuned as we approach the launch of “The Fence”, which you’ll find at www.msnbc.com/photography

 

And why not? Instagram is an extremely effective platform for sharing content. At 200 million users, Instagram is not quite as big as Twitter yet, but since it’s doubling its user base each year, there’s a really good change it will soon surpass it. It has a more universal appeal than other social networks, because it’s image based, and images are understood regardless of language barrier.

 

As to Charles Ommanney, he just hopes his photos shed some light on the hot button topic of immigration. Through his photographic work and his upcoming documentary on MSNBC, he hopes he’ll be able to help people “see the facts and be able to make up their own minds about the complexities of this subject.”

 

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'As far as the eye can see'. The more I stared at the fence the more it became a serpent to me as it cuts through the beautiful landscapes of the southwest. Nogales, Arizona.Over the course of three weeks in January I drove along the US/Mexico border from Brownsville, TX, to Friendship Park, CA – the southeastern and southwestern points of the United States, respectively – on assignment for MSNBC. Along this journey, I interviewed, photographed and filmed farmers, environmentalists, activists, and law enforcement officials, in an effort to better understand the complexities of life along the United States' southern border. In the coming days, I will be posting a series of photographs from this journey in the lead-up to the launch of my first short film, “The Fence”. Stay tuned as we approach the launch of "The Fence", which you’ll find at www.msnbc.com/photography #immigration #usmexicoborder #mexico #border #nogales#texas #friendshippark #california #msnbc @msnbcphoto

A post shared by Charles Ommanney (@charlesommanney) on

‘As far as the eye can see’. The more I stared at the fence the more it became a serpent to me as it cuts through the beautiful landscapes of the southwest. Nogales, Arizona.Over the course of three weeks in January I drove along the US/Mexico border from Brownsville, TX, to Friendship Park, CA – the southeastern and southwestern points of the United States, respectively – on assignment for MSNBC. Along this journey, I interviewed, photographed and filmed farmers, environmentalists, activists, and law enforcement officials, in an effort to better understand the complexities of life along the United States’ southern border. In the coming days, I will be posting a series of photographs from this journey in the lead-up to the launch of my first short film, “The Fence”. Stay tuned as we approach the launch of “The Fence”, which you’ll find at www.msnbc.com/photography 

 

 

top photo: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com 

 

 

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