Protecting the environment with intelligence

Do you want a say on how EIA digitises its archive?


 

I joined EIA at the start of the year and have been struck by the vast range of different environmental issues we have worked on during the past three decades.

Since our very first investigation into the Faroe Islands’ pilot whale hunt in 1984, we have investigated and campaigned on the global ivory trade, international whaling, illegal logging, deforestation and exploitation of tropical forests in Asia and Africa, the capture of wild birds for the international pet market, bear bile farming, illegal poaching of tigers and trade in their parts and derivatives, CFC smuggling, the souvenir trade in Sri Lankan tortoise shells, rhino horn trafficking and many many more issues affecting our natural world. Our work has taken us across continents and into some extraordinary situations.

All the while, we have documented our work with photography and film to be used as evidence of criminal activity and to promote our campaigns around the world. Working undercover in the murky world of environmental crime for 28 years, EIA has managed to gather some truly unique visual material.

The end result is that we have amassed a huge collection of film and images. You can see some of our footage and photography on this very site, as well as our popular Vimeo, Flickr and YouTube channels.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our collection was gathered in the pre-digital age and is currently stored on slides and analogue film in the vaults at EIA HQ, effectively hidden from public viewing.

To remedy this situation, we are currently discussing a project to digitise the collection and upload it online, thereby giving everyone access to the complete visual history of our work.

As this would be such an important project, we want to make sure we get it right and would therefore like input from our supporters in terms of how the collection should be presented online.

Should it just be a simple catalogue of images and films, should it contain timelines showing how our campaigns affected the issues, should we include descriptions of the technologies and techniques used in our investigations, or biographies of the investigators? We need you to tell us!

If you think this project sounds like a good idea, we’d love to hear your views as to how it should be presented, what it should feature, and how it should function – please get in touch with me at andrewbond@eia-international.org.

Should the project get the go-ahead, we will aim to celebrate the launch of the collection by delivering a selection of free training workshops to the public on the skills we use to produce our visual materials. These will include sessions on skills such as photography, video editing and basic investigative journalism.

If this sounds like something you would want to get involved in, or if you have any ideas about any other EIA-related skills you’d like to learn, please get in touch to let us know!

 

Andy Bond
Trusts and Foundations Officer

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