Visualising Social Stories Workshop, Hong Kong


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Early Bird Registration now open.


Visual storytelling is a powerful tool to increase understanding of social issues and to advocate for change. Whether you are interested in or already working on humanitarian, environmental or human rights issues, this workshop will provide the tools you need to maximize the impact of your work.

This Visualising Social Stories (VSS) workshop is aimed at both those who create images and those who use them in their work. Expert mentors will uses theory, case studies and practical exercises to lead you through the fundamentals of building powerful visual projects for positive social change.

Who is this workshop for? Photographers, image-makers, NGO/civil society professionals, anyone interested in image-making and/or social issues.

NGOs who have attended VSS workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Nepal include: Civil Rights Defenders, Burma Partnership, Phandeeyar, Singapore Heritage Society, Home (The Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), Aware (Association of Women for Action & Research), OXFAM, and National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, Singapore.

DAY 1: The Role of Images in Social Change

  • Past & Present: Looking at the history of photography as a tool for social change, as well as studying contemporary usage, we will analyze the evolution of practice and what tools and approaches are available today.
  • Voice & Participation: Through examining the ethics and politics of photographing social stories, you will gain insight into how to avoid bad practice.
  • Strategy & Impact: You will learn simple yet effective tools for planning a project and maximizing its impact.

DAY 2: Creating a Campaign – Planning & Production

  • Participants will be divided into multi-disciplinary teams to plan and produce a short campaign on an issue of their choice. Teams will develop a strategy for the use of their images and work on the production of materials. Mentors will provide advice throughout the day.
  • Each team will present their projects and get feedback from other participants and the mentors.

The VSS series of workshops, webinars and talks are designed and produced by Invisible Photographer Asia and Rights Exposure. The workshop will be led and mentored by Robert Godden, Director of Campaigns & Communications at Rights Exposure, and facilitated by IPA founder Kevin WY Lee.


Schedule: 10.30AM - 6PM, Monday 16th – Tuesday 17th April 2018

Workshop Venue: Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC), 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Hong Kong

Instructors: Robert Godden & Kevin WY Lee

FEES: Early Bird (till 26th March): USD$220 / Regular: USD$250


“I attended the Visualising Social Stories workshop in Dec 2015. I found it to be enriching in challenging my views on issues involving ethics in photography and in the impact it made. Both Rob and Kevin were instrumental in getting us from the context of issues to implementation with building our very own campaign. Sessions on photo editing in the form of presenting ideas and establishing one’s message was also very useful to me. Both Rob and Kevin are professionals in their own fields but came together with their take on issues comfortably. It was a delight meeting like-minded folks within the workshop as well and partnering with them on issues that we were all passionate about. Thank you for a memorable experience!” Charlotte Lordes, Singapore.

"I attended the August 2015 Visualizing Social Stories Workshop by IPA and found it most worthwhile to spend a day listening to Rob Godden and interacting with him and my course-mates. Rob's lectures were well-prepared, rich with examples and surprisingly practical as in he drove the conceptual down to the operational. Which made it an exceptional seminar for photography practitioners as well as for interested individuals. And I particularly enjoyed the time allowed for sharing and occasionally robust discussions. It was definitely food for thought that lasted beyond the one-day seminar." Li Li Chung, founder, Exactly Foundation.

“Though I have attended a few other photography workshops, this is the first workshop of its kind available to me on Visualising Social Stories. I think it addresses a need that few photography workshops address for social campaigns. The information provided and essentially the assignments really give a boost and confidence to even a beginner. I feel confident that I can possibly work on pictorial social stories even after just 3-days of workshop. And that’s quite a take back for me. Robert Godden is an excellent facilitator. Added to that, one benefits from his experience and background of having worked with many social campaigns and organisations like Amnesty International etc. The take up from the beginning to the assignments is very smooth with very factual information given out practically that there was never a moment of overload. The best is the takeaway from the learning achieved in the practical assignments.

It was a very exciting workshop. I think many NGOs and organizations in the social arena would benefit through this workshop by learning how to pitch their voice more effectively and visually. Kevin’s experience and information on photo stories gave a needed connection to story telling. It was great to have two excellent and supportive photographers, Robert and Kevin co-facilitate and complement the workshop. Thank you!” Shahnaz Ali, Singapore

"Visualising Social Stories has on more than one occasion, brought me closer to understanding and overcoming problems faced when trying to peel away at a subject matter. Through the collective wisdom of practitioners from all walks of life, who are interested in a multitude of different topics, it's helped both guests and participants acknowledge best practices and really delve into the complexities of modern day photojournalism as well as participatory photography and in doing so, addresses key issues with the ethics of storytelling and narrative. Both Robert and Kevin create a free flowing setting where even the most novice of storytellers feel encouraged to pose difficult questions as they progress through their own personal journeys, being both advocate and critic as to how to conceptualise and execute compelling storylines without losing the plot entirely to just mere images." Megat Ibrahim Mahfuz, Singapore.

"As a development practitioner, I found the workshop highly relevant. Too often, little though is given to the use of images in working for social change. This can lead to problematic results. The workshop brought together photographers and film makers, development practitioners and social activists. It provided a space for discussion and for the generation of ideas and projects. Robert Godden’s practical insights in the use of images for human rights advocacy were fascinating. I left the workshop with some fresh perspectives on the deliberate use of visualisation that will surely influence my work." Henrik Hartmann, Singapore.

More Testimonials:




Robert Godden is a human rights campaigner and photographer who uses visual media for positive social change. He is the co-founder of Rights Exposure, an organization that advocates for the rights of migrant workers. Previously, he was with Amnesty International for 15 years, and from 2004 the organization’s Asia-Pacific Campaign Coordinator based in London, Kathmandu, and Hong Kong. He holds a master’s degree in South Asian Area Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and is an alumnus of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts/Magnum Foundation Photography & Human Rights programme. 


Kevin WY Lee is a photographer, curator and educator based in Singapore. He has worked as a creative professional in Australia and Singapore for over 15 years. In 2010, Kevin founded Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA), an organisation which has since grown to become a leading, influential platform for Photography & Visual Arts in Asia. Kevin has curated and juried for various festivals and programs, including the Angkor Photo Festival (Cambodia), WMA Masters Award (Hong Kong), Belfast Photo Festival (United Kingdom), Prix Pictet Award, PhotoQuai Biennale (France), Hong Kong Photobook Awards, and Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards (USA).



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