RICOH 'Documents are ideas' campaign

When a picture from a young Malian photographer shows up on a London taxi, it is time to celebrate. Not only is the photographer making money, but the sale understates the fact, that through education, hard work and talent it is possible for a photographer from one of the poorest countries in the world to be a part of the international marketplace.

 Photo by Malian photographer Gaoussou Sogodogo on the side of a taxi in London. Sogodogo is part of Commerce and Culture's stock program in Mali. 


The Commerce & Culture Stock Program is a teaching program based on the education of stock photographers, the first of its kind in the world. The program seeks to connect photographers from the global south to a global market aiming to dramatically improve their opportunities.

To learn more about the program please click here.

Now 340 pictures online

We are happy to announce that during this fall a combined effort from our partners, Cadre de Promotion pour la Formation en Photographie and Getty Images, has made it possible to get a total of 340 rights managed pictures online.

The total number of rights managed pictures on the Commerce & Culture Stock account at Getty Images is now 340 and we are looking forward to monitor the sale from the account in the coming months. This upload represents a great step towards sustainability and with more then 120 additional pictures in the pipeline the Commerce & Culture Stock Program is set to build up great momentum by the end of 2012.

The profit Commerce & Culture receives from the sale goes uncut to the participating local school who offers the program. The school then splits the profit 50/50 with the photographer who have created the image. The aim of this is to make the local school self-sustainable and at the same time provide an income for the students.

If you wish to learn more about the Commerce & Culture Stock Program please click here.

To view the images for sale through our account at Getty Images please click here.

 Photo of boy smiling while he is holding a football, is taken by Aboubacar Traore, who is part of Commerce and Culture's stock program. 

Best month ever for the Stock Program

Looking at this month's sales report we feel proud to see that our idea of connecting creative people from the global south to the global market really works. The Commerce & Culture Stock Program are now starting to dramatically improve the opportunities for some of the photographers involved. One of the participating photographers did sell for more than 4000 USD this month alone.

Since the upload of 170 new pictures and the following online Getty promotion last month we have been looking forward to seeing the resulting sale. Now the results are in.

One of the participating photographers did sell for more then 4000 USD this month alone, a considerable amount of money, especially taking local conditions into account. Most of the established photographers with studios in Bamako earns around 100 USD per month, and the average income in Mali is less then 2 USD a day. The income generated by the sale of pictures via the Commerce & Culture Stock Program is made on pure international market terms, showing that trade is a great form of aid.

 Photo of woman smiling while on the phone, is taken by Seydou Camara in 2010, who is part of Commerce and Culture's stock program. 

Exhibiton at Rencontres de Bamako 2011

Today marks the opening of our exhibition made in collaboration with CFP-Bamako at the largest photo festival in Africa, the bi-annual Rencontres de Bamako. The exhibition Smile shows some of the best pictures from the Commerce & Culture Stock Program. The exhibition seeks to promote a positive image of Africa.

Most pictures from Africa are editorial by nature, made for newspapers and magazines. Because these pictures solely focus on creating stories that have a news value, pictures of famine and hunger, warfare and disasters are prevalent. While such pictures naturally have relevance the overall impression they create is a somewhat one-dimensional image of life in Africa.
The exhibition Smile as well as the Stock Program in general is about changing this image, providing the world with new and never before seen content with scenes from daily life in Africa. Happiness, togetherness and friendship are in focus. Inspiration is found in a variety of subjects from immediate joy at the football field to IT technology such as mobile phones and laptops, which are changing everyday life in Africa so quickly these years.

You can meet us at the opening at CFP-Bamako tonight. Commerce & Culture will be present at the Rencontres de Bamako from the 30th of October to the 9th of November, extending our network to curators and photographers throughout the African continent.

 The billboard advert for the photo festival Rencontres de Bamako. Commerce and Culture, together with their partners CFP, created an exhibition for the festival.