Benjamin Chesterton

There’s something really dangerous and messed up that you always want to see people at their worst. I’ve travelled and been in so many places in the world and the one thing that I know is that no one has ever asked me to pity them – that’s the last thing they want. They want to be treated with dignity and they have inherent dignity, so if you’re stripping that away, you’re stripping away their dignity for your purpose, because you believe that you can cash in on some idea of their suffering and that’s grotesque.

Today my guest is Benjamin Chesterton. Benjamin is film director and producer with over twenty years experience in visual arts. Benjamin is currently one of the people behind Duckrabbit which is a film production and training company that specialises in heartfelt stories in film for commercial, charity and broadcast clients. Ben is also a strong advocate for improved human rights in visual arts and has been campaigning for stricter moral based guidelines in photo journalism. I met Benjamin as a result of his ceaseless work in highlighting ethical abuse by professional media journalists and NGOs, and I was delighted to have time to chat with him in more detail about this continuing problem, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.

We started by talking about Benjamin’s company Duckrabbit and what they do (00:32), the world of visual arts (01:29), and the concept of an image and its power in modern society (06:58). We then moved on to photo journalism and its influence as a medium (12:22). This led to a detailed conversation about Benjamin’s personal campaign to highlight thousands of images, facilitated by NGOs and professional photographers, depicting people’s suffering that are for sale on major image platforms (14:28). The topic includes ethics, punching down and incorrect methods used when documenting people’s lives. Some of the topics covered here may be upsetting to listen to. We finished up the episode with Benjamin giving us some more details about Duckrabbit (51:07) and what he is reading and watching at the moment (54:10)

Show Notes

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Published
Categorized as Episodes

By Ken Sweeney

Podcast host and producer.

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