VCSIA Winner — Nishita Karad
“I was involved in the ideation and creation of Faces of Climate Change — an ambitious photography project aiming to bring to life the people and the stories of our climate crisis. Faces of Climate Change was born from the desire to provide a platform for those most affected but least represented in setting the climate narrative. My aim was to give voice and a platform for all to build bridges, reduce inequalities and ensure a just transition to net zero. Through publishing photo stories of the very people who are the face of our climate emergency, this project aims is to increase awareness of the risks as well as opportunities that have come with climate change. And in doing so help to share stories and mobilise people around the world to take action to protect our planet for generations to come.
So, in November 2021, the project invited photographers of all skill levels and ages across the globe to submit powerful, provocative photo stories that capture their personal accounts of the climate emergency — both of struggle and hope. Entries were invited across the 4 core themes: Faces of the Bold, Faces of the Brave, Faces of the Past, Present and Future, and Faces of the Unheard. By 31 January 2022, the project received submissions from 9 different countries across 4 continents — the youngest entrant being 10 years and the oldest being 61 years. The judging panel — including Clare Shine (Director & CEO, CISL), Alisa Singer (Climate artist), Toby Smooth (Programme Lead, Climate Visuals) and Maryam Wahid (Award winning portrait photographer) — had the daunting task of selecting winners across the four categories, and each winner receives a cash prize of £1,000. Shortlisted entries were exhibited in Cambridge in April 2022 and shared more widely through social media.
What has started as a simple idea in the classroom has now evolved into an annual photography competition to help put our people at the forefront of our climate work. Faces of Climate Change is mobilising climate action, one photo and one story at a time.
I believe it is important to get engaged with social causes while at university for 3 main reasons: a) It allows you to connect with like-minded people who help you fuel your passion for social causes that matter to you, b) the university support network is a great resource that can help amplify your work, and c) It not only gives you an opportunity to pursue for passion, but also has the potential of becoming a source of inspiration for friends and colleagues.
This award will play a significant part in recognising the importance of climate communication in leading urgent behaviour change and help raise visibility for the project to reach a wider and more diverse audience. The award will also help spotlight the power of networks that are available at Cambridge and underline the importance of applying what we learn in the classroom and what we see around us and turn it into a social purpose.
You can follow the project updates on social media:
Instagram — @faces_climatechange
Twitter — @FoCCContactus