PICTURES FOR PURPOSE
Pictures for Purpose is a foundation that strives to support urgent causes through the medium of photography. We collaborate with international artists and organizations, culminating in a series of print sale fundraisers and exhibitions.
Pictures for Purpose was first established in 2020. Inspired by artist-led initiatives in Italy (100 Fotografi Per Bergamo, 2020) and the USA (Pictures for Elmhurst, 2020), we decided to organize a print sale fundraiser of our own – with a unique format. Artists who donate prints can opt to receive a percentage of the proceeds from their sales. With this structure, we aspire to avoid relying solely on the generosity of the artists.
Pictures for Purpose is a creative-led initiative. Offering a curated selection of photography to a large audience, we hope our efforts can play a role in supporting various groups in our community, as well as spotlighting a variety of important issues.
Our aim is to raise proceeds for – and awareness of – urgent causes through the medium of photography; participating artists often donate works that creatively address key social questions. Having started life as a print sale fundraiser, we aspire to create new opportunities for artists to share their valuable stories – be it through developing exhibitions, commissioning new work or collaborating with partner organizations.
Isabella van Marle, Kunna Haan, Tijn Benedek & Raisa Kingma
The first edition of Pictures for Purpose (11 May – 25 May 2020) responded to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, collaborating with 36 artists based in the Netherlands. The proceeds from each print sold were shared between the Dutch Food Bank and, at their discretion, the participating artists – who themselves had been deprived of valuable streams of income. With this structure, we sought to avoid relying solely on the generosity of the artists, whilst also offering support to those in acute need in the Netherlands. We could never have expected to raise over €200.000 in just two short weeks.
The second Pictures for Purpose print sale fundraiser (7 June – 21 June 2021) sought to generate valuable channels of support for a pressing global cause: the climate crisis. Since the advent of the pandemic, our societies have been forced to enact drastic change to cope with COVID-19. Many of us wonder when the climate crisis will be treated with the same urgency. In collaboration with Justdiggit and the United Nations Environment Programme, Pictures for Purpose hoped to spotlight the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. For this edition, works by 36 international artists were featured. The proceeds from this fundraiser were shared between Justdiggit, an organization combating climate change with grassroots organizations in East Africa, and a few of the participating artists themselves, to account for lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. Our efforts across this edition generated €85.000 in sales.
Our third print sale fundraiser (10 – 24 March, 2022) was organized to support those affected by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Funds were raised to support World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing fresh meals in the wake of humanitarian, climate, and community crises. 45 international artists, including several Ukrainian names, donated a print towards our cause. Pictures for Purpose for Ukraine generated a staggering €252.350 in sales over a two-week period.
The fourth edition of Pictures for Purpose (16 – 30 March 2023) was organised in support of those affected by the devastating February earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The fundraiser secured financial assitance for Ahbap, one of the most active grassroots voluntary aid networks in Turkey. and The White Helmets, a humanitarian volunteer organisation operating in Syria.
39 international artists donated a print towards the initiative; as in previous years, a number of the featured artists had a prior affinity with the affected regions. For the first time, this edition of Pictures for Purpose offered larger works in a limited edition of 30, with all proceeds split between the partner organisations. By the time the fundraiser concluded, we’d registered a phenomenal total of €80.392,00 in sales.