Lensational’s Covid-19 response : documenting women’s experiences in underrepresented communities

Photography for Social Change
3 min readApr 8, 2020


The coronavirus crisis has been indiscriminate in hitting all of us. But we also know that some places with vulnerable health systems will be hit harder than others.

This means that our network of women storytellers, whose communities have less access to health care and information, will also likely be hit the hardest.

In the past two weeks, our Global Coordination team has been working hard on a response, to ensure we help our community in the best way we can, in these challenging times.

Our response will be threefold:

  1. Ensuring that our volunteers, storytellers and partners are safe
  2. Helping support visual advocacy campaigns around health messages, especially targeting women with low income

There are already health campaigns out there, but they were not designed with our primary target audience in mind — women living in low-income communities, with limited literacy.

Over the years, Lensational has produced a lot of content around health, water and sanitation, and positive messages of hope and strength.

Safety first, let’s all come together and fight this together.
© Fibi Afloe, Ghana

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing this content, anchoring our messaging around the following messages:

  • Social distancing
  • Washing hands
  • Know symptoms + what to do
  • Be kind
  • Donate
Hope. © Fibi Afloe, Ghana

We hope that you’ll join us in sharing such messages on social media and in your networks. You can find us and engage with our community on our Facebook and Instagram profiles.

3. Using photography for therapy and documentation of experiences

Global news coverage of Covid-19 has focused on the experiences of high-income countries. Coverage of other parts of the world is also concentrated on the experiences of the middle class or above.

Lensational is uniquely placed to ensure that marginalised voices are not excluded. We also know that women and girls — shouldering majority of the care responsibilities and household decisions — also experience this crisis differently.

The Pharmacist . Women are disproportionately represented in frontline care work.

There is already emerging evidence that domestic abuse has gone up since the lockdown began in some countries. Lensational is also uniquely placed to ensure that women and girls’ experiences are documented.

‘We also know that women and girls — shouldering majority of the care responsibilities and household decisions — also experience this crisis differently.’

In order to offer our help, we are designing a photography programme looking to offer tips on using photography at home, both as a creative outlet and a way to reflect on emotions and improve mental health.

We will also be hosting a competition, and several calls to action, on our social media channels, asking women to share their experiences with us, in various formats.

We hope that we can help document these experiences in these challenging times.

Best wishes,



Photography for Social Change

A non-profit.org training a new generation of female photographers from the margins. Driving diverse, female-centric, ethical photography.