Note from BW of Brazil: Now this is an area that I can most def relate to. When you run a blog, there is always a need for photos that reflect the topic of the article of which you are posting. There are those times when you just want a simple photo and then there are those times in which just any ole photo just won’t do. Even though there are plenty royalty-free stock images available online, this is yet another area in which you discover just how invisible black folks really are. It’s pretty amazing. It shouldn’t be as racial under-representation and exclusion in various genres is a topic that is frequently dealt with on this blog speaks. It’s just a simple fact. In nearly every genre that you can imagine, the standard is always is white skin, European features. And the image bank is no different. Having been blogging for a number of years now, Google image searching is something I’m quite familiar with. But the results are always the same.
Whenever you search for images in which people are involved, if you don’t use the keywords “black” in English, or “preto/preta” or “negro/negra” in Portuguese, the standard images that will appear are, you guessed it, white. I actually thought about this several months ago when I once again wanted to get back into photography, a hobby I had picked up back in around 2011. I thought, with the billions and billions of images of people online, there is definitely a huge gap in representation of black people in the image bank arena. It’s pretty obvious for anyone who spends a lot of time searching for images online. The folks of the company called Preta, meaning black woman of course, noting this need as well, created a platform that addresses this need. With a bank of images featuring black women in a number of everyday settings, Preta seeks to address the invisibility of mulheres negras in yet another important area of media.
Company Preta, meaning black woman, offers free and collaborative image bank: for the representation of the black woman in communications
Courtesy of Hypeness, with contribution of Revista Versar
If racial inequality and representativeness are present in practically all spheres of our culture, the struggle to transform such a picture must also take place in the most diverse scenarios – from the most obvious means of communication to the most indirect forms of communication, to the photos and images used to illustrate reports and advertising campaigns. That is how Preta was born, a bank of inspiring, free and collaborative images, in order to combat the exclusion of black women in communications.
Preta was an of journalist Gabrielle Estevans, of Florianópolis, the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, after she noted the difficulty of finding inspiring photos online of black Brazilian women.
The data that Preta intends to transform are self-explanatory: in 2017, only 21% of women present in advertising campaigns were black, and of these, 69% were celebrities. The road, therefore, especially in a country with a black majority, is still a long one so that black women can naturally recognize themselves in advertising. The bank therefore emerges to pressure the creators and offer the perfect material so that representativeness also occurs in such communications.
“The project was born out of a concern for the advertising and communication market. Every time I needed to create a moodboard or select an image for a story, I only found pictures of mulheres brancas (white women). There is still a way for black women outside of the spotlight to be recognized,” explains Gabrielle.
Because it is a collaborative and non-profit image collection, editorials are created among photographers, models and artists involved with the themes. The success of the launching of the platform, however, was so great that not only has Preta been receiving materials from all over Brazil, but has also extrapolated its original meaning and has become a collaborative content portal.
“After the launch, we have already received interest in creating new editorials in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. The platform has also extrapolated the idea of being just a bank of images and will also be a portal of collaborative content that will count, for example, with partners such as Juliana Lima, journalist and columnist for Modefica,” concludes Gabrielle.
In addition to offering images of black women for articles and campaigns, Preta also brings interviews, reports, columns and videos, accurately and qualitatively filling a gap that can no longer exist.