JONNY COHEN: Covid reportage

Documentary photography, content creation and storytelling are what I am passionate about. 

I am also a writer and videographer, so consider myself an all-rounder, which allows me to travel light and get the job done cost-effectively. 

When times are tough, as they are now, then perhaps it becomes more important than ever to look beyond the obvious, for the uplifting rays of the human spirit. I try to capture this in my work.

One of my  ‘love’ projects is the Sisonke Boxing Club in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay. 

I grew up with boxing, and so the interest has always been there. What started off as a pro bono video to raise funds for the club, has become a long term project – both socially and photographically. I help with training and organisation at the club, I run with the young boys on the mountain, and I’ve also held photo exhibitions portraying life as a boxer in the townships. All funds raised have always gone to the club. 

When Covid-19 started and the gym was closed, I wanted to do something to help the community and keep the youngsters positive. I emptied my Jojo tank at home, and we started off a handwashing station in the middle of the township. Very few people have running water in their homes, so this has been a great help. We now have 8 wash tanks throughout the township. I have also been very involved in water and food relief efforts. 

My trusty Fujifilm XT3 goes everywhere with me. I find it extremely versatile and love the lenses in the Fujifilm ecosystem. My images are shared freely with fund-raising groups who use them to raise awareness and money.

As a content creator with a pan-African speciality, being grounded comes with challenges, but I am enjoying the ‘local is lekker’ initiative, the community spirit, and grateful that I can use my craft in the support of the greater good.

PS – In the early days of lockdown, I made this educational hand washing video with the XT3.

Leave a Response