Current banner images are by Judith Deland, Bert Kaufmann, Megan Lewis, Luka Tomac, Romel de Vera and Simon Walter. You can find a photographer’s images by entering their name in our image library’s search engine.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, it has become easier to see how the global economy is being shaped to generate profits for wealthy countries, corporations and individuals. It is clear that few governments consider the impoverished or the environment to be a priority. And for all their fine words in Paris and elsewhere, most governments are doing next to nothing to prevent catastrophic climate change, primarily because of worries about short-term economic impacts.
These trends are being held rigidly in place by an unspoken taboo—in government, in intergovernmental organisations and even in parts of academia and civil society—that prevents anyone with career ambitions speaking out against the economic doctrine driving it all—neoliberalism.
It doesn’t have to be like this. There are campaigners and communities around the world with a rich kaleidoscope of experiences and ideas about other ways of living. We want to bring these campaigners and communities together with other people who are new to such discussions to reignite debate about how people want to organise their societies.
What we can dream of, we can do—we just need to remember that we can dream. Together we can speak up and speak out, busting these taboos once and for all.
HOW CAN CRITICAL INFORMATION COLLECTIVE HELP?
We believe that radical change requires access to critical information, and effective campaign communication. We help campaigners and communities who are challenging corporate power and growing inequality to tell their stories more powerfully, and to tell them to new audiences. We aim to foster diverse and creative public debate rekindling people’s optimism about their future and the well-being of our planet’s environment.
Stories need to be clear, compelling and concise if they are to create the kind of seismic shift that’s needed, so we help to write and visualise the issues more effectively, and to train others to do the same. We provide a one-stop shop of incisive and well-researched political analysis, and an accessible environmental and social justice image library. We are championing the concept of ‘activist photography’, training activists to create their own persuasive campaign images.
You can contact collective members to find support with research, report writing, editing, proofreading, image research, publication design and layout, website design, and advice on using social media. Collective members aim to donate a percentage of income from these projects to CIC, to help support its core costs.
Whenever we have funding available we aim to be able to provide these services directly from CIC to our under-resourced registered ‘Civil Society Members’ (CSMs) at minimal or no cost (for example, CSMs can already access most of the images in our library for free, even if they have to be paid for by other users). We also engage in political advocacy relating to opening up new spaces for people’s voices to be heard.
We are relatively new, small and growing. Challenging neoliberalism is controversial, and focusing specifically on campaign communications is not popular with most funders. We need your support! If you are able to make a donation, please go to the PayPal button on our front page, or recommend us to friends and colleagues.
WHO WE ARE
Critical Information Collective’s members are all experienced campaigners and activist photographers. Together with colleagues in the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) federation and allies such as La Via Campesina and the Global Forest Coalition, we have campaigned on a wide range of issues including the World Trade Organization, bilateral free trade agreements, climate change, and alternatives to corporate globalisation. Over the years we have come to understand how vital it is to reach out to new public audiences about these issues.
Ronnie helped found and coordinated Friends of the Earth International (FoEI)’s Trade Environment and Sustainability Program from 1992 to 2007. She was also involved in establishing the global anti-corporate globalisation network Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS). Ronnie coordinated FoEI campaign teams at WTO Ministerials, including in Seattle (1999), Cancun (2003) and Hong Kong (2005). Since 2007 Ronnie has been working as an independent researcher and editor, collaborating closely with FoEI, the Global Forest Coalition and others. She is currently helping to train campaigners and communities to take better photographs themselves, as part of the Women2030 project. Ronnie is also a Fellow of the RSA (a UK-based organisation that seeks innovative and practical solutions to social problems), and was awarded a Licentiateship of the UK’s Royal Photographic Society in 2013. She is currently studying part-time for a degree in photography.
Contact ronnihall@ gmail.com
For the last six years Luka has been following both Croatian and international environmental and climate movements. He has participated in several United Nations Climate Change summits, held many lectures and trainings, and organised expeditions in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. The main themes in the focus of his photography include social, environmental and climate justice. After publishing two books (Arctic Reflections and Hidden Moslavina) and exhibiting his photographs on numerous occasions, he is now working on his third book on rainforest communities.
Contact: luka@ zelena-akcija.hr
Ann is an urban farmer with her roots as a communicator in the social environmental movement. She started off in the global youth network A SEED in the 1990s, and subsequently co-founded Corporate Europe Observatory, before moving to Friend of the Earth International. After 16 years as FoEI’s Communications Coordinator, she started training to become an urban farmer and is currently picking up expertise in agriculture and biodiversity. When she is not busy beekeeping or tending her garden she loves to write, edit and work with photos. She also has experience in developing strategic plans for campaigning organisations in the area of internal and external communications, including social and traditional media, websites, and publications and materials.
Contact: amsterdamfarmer@ xs4all.nl
Mary Lou Malig
Mary Lou is an activist researcher, policy analyst and campaigner currently based in Bolivia. She has written on the issues of trade (particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO)), climate change, agriculture and the green economy. She has also worked on videos for popular education on WTO and on climate change. Mary Lou was Trade Campaign Coordinator of Focus on the Global South and also served as one of the Campaign Coordinators for the anti-corporate globalisation network, Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS). From 2010 to 2014, Mary Lou worked as staff in Asia for the international peasants’ movement, La Via Campesina, and in that capacity also coordinated the Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA). She has coordinated campaign teams at several WTO Ministerials and General Councils (Cancun 2003; Hong Kong 2005; Geneva 2006 & 2009, Bali 2013) including co-organising a flotilla of small fisherfolk, and concerts of the Musicians Against the WTO. Most recently she was part of the coordination team for the Economic Justice Assembly and EndWTO actions in Bali. She is currently Research Associate and Campaigns Coordinator with the Global Forest Coalition.
Victor is a professional photographer, living in Spain, who also works under the pseudonym of FOTOSconLETRA to deliver realistic and intense images. He focuses on depicting the lives and struggles of activists and communities who are prepared to give up everything to promote a better world. He works anywhere and in any situation, showing people who resist, people who mobilise others, people who are working to transform the societies they live in. His images reveal people living in ways that promote and protect the environment, diversity and interculturality. Victor is also a member of the management team of Friends of the Earth Spain, and a committed mountaineer and climber.
Contact: victor.barro@ fotosconletra.com
Critical Information Collective is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales with company number 7672296. Spofforths, 9 Donnington Park, 85 Birdham Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 7AJ, UK