Echosight: Changing the way we retell global stories

Echosight uses multiple exposure to compare and contrast visual stories from around the world.

The way we share stories with readers and viewers around the world is constantly evolving. The more this evolution takes place, the more we find opportunities to identify the parallels between events in our lives no matter where they take place. We are similarly exposed to the stark contrasts that exist all around us. To explore this using the global network of documentarians, Daniella Zalcman and Danny Ghitis founded Echosight, an online platform that blends stories from across the globe using composite photography.

In an article for Huck Magazine, Zalcman said it all started when she moved from New York to London in 2012. Feeling nostalgic about her home city, Zalcman combined her memories with her new experiences using double exposure photography.

“Months later, that morphed into Echosight, a collaborative mashup project that invites photographers to produce composite images together,” she writes.

It started as a creative outlet for photojournalists, free from the restrictions of their professional spaces. It later evolved into a platform for people to explore social issues like the first anniversary of the annexation of Crimea in the Ukraine, and the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown – a young black man from Ferguson, Missouri, who was fatally shot by a white police officer.

The process is simple. Two or more photographers are connected via the platform or through their own research and a composite image is made. “...with each individual supplying a layer of the final picture. The results are sometimes beautiful, sometimes weird, sometimes ethereal. The point was to break down the process of image making and have two artists put it back together,” adds Zalcman.

According to Zalcman, Echosighttries to give the voices of war and social upheaval a platform to interact and create common ground.

“At its best, journalism tells another person’s story as authentically and purely as possible. But even then, something is lost in the retelling. So we’re trying a new way of retelling,” she wrote.

Although Ghitis is no longer included in the project, he maintains that Echosight was created in the spirit of collaboration. 

In this mashup, a photo by @domvalentephoto of school children in rural Cambodia appear to be resting their arms on an image of the Excelsior district San Francisco by @jachristian
This photo is called "A Different Kind of Love". By photographers @jachristian based in Michigan and @domvalentephoto based in Utah
This mashup is from @solneelman & @dan_root, blended by @chiplitherland.
Mashup by @mariearago & @maggiesteber
Tasneem Alsultan photographs stories of women in Saudi Arabia, focusing on love marriage and culture. Whilst Ruddy Roye writes about disenfranchised groups especially black men in his community of Bedstuy, NY.
Another mashup with @ruddyroye and @tasneemalsultan
Donald Trump speaks in Nashville while The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and Workers’ Dignity rallies outside. By @john_t_collins and @tomgriscom.
Echosight's collaboration with @aljazeeraamerica to mark the first anniversary of Michael Brown's death. By @miketphotog_ & @glendenovo
Echosight's collaboration with @aljazeeraamerica to mark the first anniversary of Michael Brown's death. By @miketphotog_ & @glendenovo