01 Oct 2021

This content is tagged as Pacific arts .


New Pacific Photography Masterclass to deepen digital storytelling

Creative New Zealand is thrilled to partner with globally renowned photojournalists from VII Academy to provide a world-class Pacific photography programme.

The 12-week pilot project, kicking off this November, aims to grow storytelling through the visual medium of photography as a craft and artform.  

There are eight places available for Pasifika creatives from Aotearoa with expressions of interest now open.

CEO of The VII Foundation and VII Academy Gary Knight says they’re excited to share their knowledge.

“The VII Foundation has worked around the world, from the Americas, Europe and Asia. We have a new focus on the South Pacific, and this opportunity allows us to share our skills so that we can help grow Pacific stories told by Pacific people in this artform,” says Gary.

“We value global collaboration and global stories, and we look forward to the unique voices, passion and learning from this project with New Zealand.”

Gary Knight. Photo credit: © Alize

Kiwi ties with the organisation already exist, Christchurch photojournalist Andrew Reid is a board member of both The VII Foundation and New Zealand-based Todd Corporation.

Pacific photographer Raymond Sagapolutele has been contracted by Creative New Zealand to liaise and support the project.

“I’m honoured to be part of an exciting opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s most talented photojournalists to grow this space for Pasifika creatives,” Raymond says. 

Raymond Sagapolutele photographed by Edith Amituanai as part of the Pacific Legacy Arts Project in partnership with The Pantograph Punch, supported by Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023.

The VII Academy programme will be led by head tutor Christopher Morris, an American photojournalist who is best known for his photographs from conflict zones and the White House, but who has also covered a wide range of subjects from human rights to fashion over the last four decades.

Outcomes of the programme include learning how to photograph in a documentary style, create photo narratives and prepare for publication.

“This international opportunity to partner with a respected global organisation will develop Pacific storytelling skills in the digital space,” says Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.

“This is an exciting new initiative under the Va focus of the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018 – 2023. The masterclasses will provide Pasifika creatives a rare opportunity to learn and develop their arts practice from some of the best photojournalists in the world, and to build our community’s skills for global digital reach,” says Senior Manager Pacific Arts Makerita Urale.

“If this pilot project works out, we’d love to do it again, so our Pacific creatives have access to global knowledge to strengthen our presence in the #DigitalMoana space.”

Selection of the successful recipients will be a joint process between Creative New Zealand expertise and VII Academy.

The 12-week programme is free for recipients and will begin on 1 November 2021.

Participants should be able to devote two hours to online classes and at least two hours photographing their weekly assignment. The time they spend shooting will be dictated by the participants’ own goals for the programme and the time that they can devote to it.

Pacific creatives are invited to submit an expression of interest by 5pm, Thursday 21 October 2021 to Raymond Sagapolutele rimoni@orcon.net.nz 

For more information on the programme, read here on the VII Academy website.

About The VII Foundation

The VII Foundation is an independent, charitable media and education non-profit organization. It was founded in 2001 in response to the challenges faced by photographers and writers to fund long-term investigative journalism projects. It is an independent non-profit structure that secures support for continuing documentary practice and education in media practice. It initiates work that addresses complex social, economic and human rights issues, that challenges authority and inaction, and seeks solutions to seemingly intractable problems. VII Academy is the education branch of The VII Foundation.

About VII Academy

The strategy of VII Academy is to promote, teach, and foster high-quality international journalism in the majority world and underrepresented communities in G20 countries.

It does this by providing tuition-free education to emerging professionals and students from these communities in media practice, visual journalism, narrative, ethics, business, and entrepreneurship, thereby enabling in the long term a culture whereby the information narrative is democratized.