–With the start of 2017’s fall semester, shutterbugs can join forces under RAW, AUC’s new photography community. According to Muzi Ndiweni, third-year Science major and current chair, RAW is meant to be a network for photographers; a community instead of a committee – the label by which most AUCSA initiatives go.
The group aims at facilitating the communication between photographers and with other committees at AUC. Ndiweni says that the initial idea to form the community came up in a conversation with RAW’s current PR-manager Robin Laird, a third-year Science major. Ndiweni says that the two of them, and other photographers, were frequently asked by committees to take pictures at their events, resulting in too much work for them to handle. In creating a community, they saw a means of reducing their workload while also involving photographers who usually didn’t get approached by committees. At the same time, they felt the need to increase exchange and collaboration between photographers at AUC, says Ndiweni. “There are a lot of photographers who don’t know about other photographers, and there is miscommunication between people who need them”, adds Yuri Tax, third-year Science major and the community’s secretary. Tax and Wino Carter, a second-year Science major and the community’s secretary, joined the team later. Currently, the four are looking to expand their team and are accepting applications for the position of Event Manager.
Why the name RAW? “Because it’s catchy”, says Tax, but adds that the name also refers to the image format that is primarily used to store minimally processed data.
The group is still in the early stages of its existence. The four are reaching out to event managers of different committees, and already have a long list of photographers that would like to join the network. “We are getting all the input to figure out what people would like to see from RAW, but we will have our network up and running by the end of September”, he adds. Veerle Fanoy, second-year Social Science major and Communication Manager of the Yearbook Committee, says that the Yearbook fully supports RAW and sees it as an important addition to the AUCSA, given the enormous interest in photography among the AUC community. The Yearbook’s Graphic Designer Vera Grosskop, a second-year Science major, says that once both boards have filled their positions, “we definitely see the potential for collaboration.”
Although the semester has just begun, the community is getting a lot of positive feedback, especially from first-year students. One of them is Jasmijn Doorgeest, a Social Science major and winner of RAW’s first event, the “First Year, First Impression” cell phone photo competition. She secured the win with a picture that she titled ‘Assembly at Dam Square’. “We had an assembly right before the crazy 44 challenge”, says Doorgeest. “Everyone was standing there in front of the monument, and the sky looked really nice.” She sees the demand for a photography community at AUC and believes that there are a lot of photographers at AUC who would love to come together. “Photography can be a very solitary thing because you are the person that photographs and you are doing it mostly alone, so through RAW people can connect, brainstorm for ideas, and help and inform each other.”