Images play a major role in today’s world. Not only are we consumers, but thanks to the mass availability of digital cameras and camera phones, we are all producers too. Every day we absorb a steady stream of images, but we also disseminate them. At school we learn how to read a poem or interpret a literary text. Information about time, the background of the writer and the symbolic meaning of words allow us to understand text and to distinguish what is on offer. In photography this rarely happens. Many people still think that a beautiful photo is a good photo. Visual literacy is crucial for being able to read documentary series, but also for evaluating photography on the internet or in adverts.

This ‘conscious looking’ or ‘becoming visually literate’ plays an important role for FOTODOK at different levels. Visual literacy falls under media wisdom. To understand what images tell us and how that happens, but also to understand how as a maker you can tell stories with images, requires some basic skills. It is also important to discover that understanding is linked to the context of presenting.

FOTODOK aims to play an active role in this development through images, lectures, debates and educational programmes. The enjoyment of beautiful or intriguing images of course continues to be important, precisely because we want to use these images to encourage the public to discover ‘more’. FOTODOK aims to actively engage its audience.