UN Festival of Action

UN Global Festival of Action

Young people are the future of our world, but so often it’s a challenge for them to make their voice heard. Sometimes it’s because they can’t use the right words to make themselves understood, or just simply that people don’t want to hear it.

At Canon, we passionately believe in the power of the imaging for sparking change and transcending languages and borders. That’s why Canon will be attending the UN Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany (2nd-4th May) together with participants from its Young People Programme (YPP) to showcase the impact visual storytelling has had in their local communities.

The young people from Belgium and Germany will be harnessing their visual storytelling skills as dedicated reporters for the UN at the event. Supported by Canon Ambassador Ulla Lohmann, they will take over the UN’s social channels and cover the biggest sustainability stories from the event – you’ll be able to find their coverage at #SDGglobalFest.

Meanwhile, the attendees from Belgium will also be on UNTV on Friday 3rd May to present their work on addressing women’s safety in Brussels to an audience of charities, business leaders and other young people to demonstrate the power of photography for achieving change.

The UN Festival of Action provides a valuable platform for young voices to be heard more widely, and in a world where there are more methods of communication than ever before, giving young people both a universal language and the platform through which they can make their stories stand out is more important than ever.

The recent climate change school walkouts across the globe have demonstrated the power of protest to unite young people and make their voice heard, while the YPP and UN Festival of Action will highlight photography’s role. It has the ability to communicate a story that people of all ages can understand without the need for a shared language, or often even shared culture.

At its heart, the YPP encourages young people to tell these individual stories that have a universal meaning with a view to driving and inspiring change. To date, it has trained more than 3,250 people across 23 different countries and helped to create real outcomes for those involved.

For example, the Belgian YPP, carried out in cooperation with Plan International Belgium, has seen the participants present their work detailing women’s safety in Brussels to the local parliament in a process to drive legislative change.

To hear more about the Young People Programme during the UN Festival of Action, visit UNTV on Friday 3rd May, or follow @SDGaction and @CanonEvents to see the young people’s coverage of the event between 2nd-4th May.