Roberta Staley and Tallulah of Tallulah Photography have been working tirelessly together to illuminate the oft-untold stories of the Global South. Their collaborative project, Journeys to the Edge (or J2E), is not just highly engaging, narrative-based journalism; as a fundraising organization, it also seeks to support emerging journalists working internationally, encouraging independent and objective reporting from the field.
On Thursday, June 27th, Staley and Tallulah will be hosting Afghanistan Rising at Chapel Arts, a fundraiser that will showcase the work produced by J2E as well as that of Dr. Lauryn Oates, the projects director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Guests will be introduced to a roster of fascinating individuals, including “world champion Qu’ran singer Ahmad Reshad Mamozai, a female politician who is fighting for gender equality and rule of law, members of Afghanistan women’s boxing team, and an Afghan-Canadian cardiologist who treats everyone for free – even ex-Taliban.” Additionally, a portion of the money raised will go to Young Women for Change, a youth organization in Kabul working to transform deeply entrenched misogynistic attitudes.
Intrigued by Tallulah’s and Staley’s keenly observant style of reporting, I spoke with Staley about her motivations, experiences in the field, and views about the state of journalism today.
VIA: What was the motivation behind you embarking on this project?
Roberta Staley: Last year, J2E co-founder Tallulah Photography and I received contracts with ELLE Canada and Trek magazines to cover the work of the NGO Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan). Run entirely by volunteers, CW4WAfghan has contributed significantly to the development of Afghanistan, especially Afghan women, who were brutalized under the Taliban regime, which ruled from 1996 to 2001.