Photography is a very powerful tool. Using it for projects and campaigns to create visibility for people, who's voices are not heard is the guiding motivation of Aspectus. Empowerment through imagery is my way. I have extensive knowledge about planning, implementing and assessment. Through working in countries like Bhutan, Mongolia and Thailand we have very good intercultural skills.
Today social media creates new ways to communicate and connect- it allows us a wider view out in the world and a variety of perspectives. By facilitating workshops and using a participatory method I am sharing photography as a tool of storytelling to increase the perspectives.
My aim is to portray people through their strength and use positive imagery as a way of empowerment.
Carla Gross, Project coordinator – das Begleitprogramm Berliner Stadtmission:
“The participatory photography workshop with Mareike had a very empowering effect on the participants and brought out their trust in their own skills. After the workshop they were very motivated to face and solve their problems themselves and aim for new projects. As an asylum seeker living in a European country the system takes over your life, it is easy to get numb and forget what you are able to do yourself.
The Aspectus workshop with Mareike Günsche was a huge success for our project beneficiaries and us. Many of the people with a refugee background lose motivation to achieve something in life since their past as well as their present is quite difficult. To start all over again in a foreign country with a foreign language is very challenging. The participatory workshop for the first time gave them a place to tell their own story. The workshop was well organized, the only things we had to provide was a room and a projector. Since the method of the workshop was learning by doing the people had lots of fun learning the basics of photography. With their agreement we showed their photographs at a public event, which made them very proud since the feedback was so good. The long term effects on the people who took part in the project are still obvious. By showing their lives through pictures they were able to see its aspects from another perspective and understand themselves better.”
Anna Farley, Co-Founder and Designer, Place With Purpose :
“You captured the environment and mood of my design perfectly. We got everything done that we wanted shot. The pictures are amazing and everything we hoped for and more.
Thank you for the photos of my pod. I don't have any other pictures of me with it, which I just used to support an application! In short, a fun and friendly experience, can’t wait to have an excuse to get you to come and work with us again.”
“Mareike was wonderful to work with... very patient, friendly and spent a lot of time making sure we got the right shot. I feel much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, but Mareike put me at ease! It was also fascinating to hear what she’s trying to achieve in the photography/journalism world, inspiring!”
Oli Monks, Place With Purpose:
“Mareike was amazing. She put everybody at ease, was very relaxed and most importantly delivered some photos that were better than we even hoped for!”
A workshop-participant, Syria Relief:
“I found the training very comprehensive and eye opening. When you work in such a complex and challenging environment, you don't always think about the impact your images can have on the whole context. It is good to pause, and reflect about the positive that is often put aside because of the daily constraints, and remember how much positive visual language can impact not only thé form that you do, but also the cause that you serve... thank you for having offered this to us!”