Wrap up 2023
… of some of the great things we have achieved this year:
„40 years of laif“ exhibition on tour
Following Cologne, Ulm, Bremen and Linz, our group exhibition „40 years of laif – 40 positions of documentary photography“ traveled to India’s oldest international photography festival in Hyderabad in November, (Link) …
… and provided an amazing evening for us at the international festival „Visa Pour l’Image“ 2022 in Perpignan as part of the legendary screenings at Campo Santo. (Link)
Roughly 50 new members and an inspiring first annual meeting of the laif cooperative (Link)
Our aim for the cooperative was to grow by 20 to 30 members a year. As of today, we have 50 new members. Unlike when we first founded the cooperative, most of the new members are not photographers but „normal“ people who want to support our work as part of the laif community.
laif in the German Photo Council
The German Photo Council gives photography its own voice in political and social discourse. It has been included as the 9th section of the German Cultural Council and is therefore part of the umbrella organization of German cultural associations. The main goals are the same as those of laif: copyright protection, the heritage of photography, media literacy and AI in photography. For this reason, the laif cooperative was already accepted as a corporate member of the Deutscher Fotorat in April. (Link)
Photo book prize for the jubilee magazine „40 years of laif“ (Link)
laif gets actively involved
Input on the significance of photojournalism for democracy and the cohesion of our society through lectures, workshops and panels at pioneering events:
• b° future festival for journalism and constructive dialogue. (Link)
• Peace Congress in Berlin. (Link)
• DGPh Online Talk: The market for photojournalism and documentary photography (Link)
• Freedom of the Press Week by the Zeit Foundation and Körber Foundation (Link)
• Publix Residents Conference (Link)
• DGPh photosessions Extra: „AI and documentary photography – that’s how it works!“ (Link)
• Symposium of the Association of Female Journalists in Frankfurt am Main (Link)
laif takes a stand against AI-generated images in photojournalism
Content Authenticity Initiative
We have been advocating the introduction of a quality seal for the provenance and authenticity of images for some time now. That’s why we became a member of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and have asked all laif photographers and partner agencies not to send any AI-generated images to the agency.
Writing with light
laif supports the „Writing with light“ movement together with World Press Photo, Magnum, VII and other important institutions. In addition to a lot of background information and fact-checking tools collected there, a very simple, generally applicable statement for the work of photojournalists has been drawn up. (Link)
World Press Photo Award
When World Press Photo opened up the Open Category of the most prestigious photojournalism award to AI generated images in November, the agency joined an open appeal in which many photographers worldwide contacted World Press Photo to prevent this …and we succeeded: the decision was reversed.
New areas of activity and new colleagues
Social media communication: Katja Kemnitz has been responsible for content creation for the social media channels and websites since October. Her job is to make the laif brand more visible to the public and to develop creative formats and ideas so that the work of laif photographers gets the attention it deserves.
And since November, Valentina Crosato has been supporting us at the laif foundation as a photo editor and project assistant. Among other things, she will be responsible for educational programs and events in the field of photography and media literacy.
Membership campaign “laif not fake”
Through the public campaign launched in September, we were able to attract many new members who are not photographers, but who nevertheless identify strongly with our goals and therefore became part of the laif community. Thanks to their support, we were able to generate sufficient funds for the initial financing of the laif foundation.
New office location for the foundation: Publix Berlin
Together with important institutions such as Correctiv, Reporters Without Borders, netzwerk recherche and Hate Aid, the laif foundation is one of the first residents of Publix, the Schöpflin Foundation’s globally unique project to strengthen independent media and a free, critical discourse – a laboratory for innovation in journalism. In May 2023, we will open our Berlin office there, which will also be a contact hub for the agency’s photographers. (Link)