Initiated by the ABURY Foundation and Thomas Rusch, PortrAid is an art aided charity project whose guiding principle is to use photography as a medium to artfully illustrate problems, and in doing so provide a way to solve them. As an inclusive platform, it connects photographers, organizations, people in need and those who want to help.
The way PortrAid works is fairly simple: a well-known artist takes a portrait of a person affected by a problem. The photograph, a collector’s work of art, is then displayed in galleries, exhibitions and on the website where it can be purchased. The beauty of PortrAid lies in the fact that every piece sold helps the person depicted in it directly, as the selling price corresponds to the amount needed to help. The buyers are able to establish a very intimate connection with the individuals in the photograph, because they help, the person they see.
PortrAid has pledged to contribute and support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. This entails working towards making education and health accessible to everyone with a focus on community development, women’s empowerment as well as ensuring equal treatment and providing opportunities for all.
So far, the concept behind this idea has been used to address two different issues: eye cataract among craftsmen: I see you see; and access to education for young children in the mountain villages: I see you learn. The earnings from the first project series funded the cataract operation of 88 artisans from the Medina in Marrakech. By purchasing one of the 57 portraits of the children from the Atlas Mountains you can provide one year of pre-school education for the child in the picture.
This is only the beginning! The idea of using art to raise awareness, helping people in difficult situations through the sale of a portrait, and at the same time, enable collectors and art lovers to get a piece of art by doing good shall live long. Until now, PortrAid has focused its efforts in Morocco but there are no borders. The long-term objective is to expand this initiative by inviting renowned photographers to go beyond borders to help those in need. I see you walk, I see you work, I see you smile, I see you…
Do you want to know more? Additional information can be found on Portraid.org