Ecuador. Photography workshop for migrant and refugee women entrepreneurs
26-07-2023 | di COOPI

Ecuador. Photography workshop for migrant and refugee women entrepreneurs

On 4 July 2023, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale in Ecuador finalised the workshop "Product photography as a productive and resilience tool for migrant and refugee women", held in collaboration with SolipsArt, a collective of feminist photographers who manage, promote and bring people closer to photographic art. The photography workshop was promoted as part of the "Integrados" project, thought which COOPI and AVSI contribute to the social integration of Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador, thanks to the funding of the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPMR). Over the course of a month, in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil, the women entrepreneurs explored product photography, the development of photographic tools, and the practices of marketing and photographic embroidery.

With the workshop, COOPI seeks to strengthen and expand the knowledge of digital marketing to improve the commercialisation of the products of the participants' enterprises with accessible tools. The workshop takes place in a safe space where the beneficiaries have the opportunity to share their life stories and to engage in catharsis through photography and embroidery as an expression of art; and at the same time develop their creativity and innovation skills.

Merchis Ramírez, a COOPI beneficiary who participated in the workshop, reported how after uploading the photos of the products made for her business, she was contacted by a handicraft company that offered her a job as a photographer, thus arousing her interest in continuing to practise this profession. While, Maily Rojas, another participant in the workshop, said:

the workshop has filled me spiritually, it filled many facets of me and I realised the emotional limitations I had, in the photo embroidery part I was able to free myself and it served as an inspiration to go out of the comfort zone.

As a consequence of the positive feedback, the workshop on product photography will be replicated in the different regions in Ecuador where COOPI intervenes. 

COOPI has been running projects in Ecuador since 1967. Since 2020, within the regional response framework, it has been working on the Venezuelan migration crisis. Today it works in nine provinces with funding from UNHCR, UNICEF and BPRM, for housing, protection, water and sanitation and socioeconomic inclusion for the migrant and host population, directly reaching 56,693 people, in particular children, women and the LGTBIQ+ population.