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Picture This: interview with Anjali Patel

5 months ago

With the deadline for the global video competition Picture This fast approaching, we caught up with judge Anjali Patel. Anjali, a 19-year-old writer based in Mumbai, is passionate about creating a more authentic and equal world by joining forces with people who care about social and environmental issues. For the past three years she’s worked with ELLE Magazine, Ketto India, Girl Up, Heirs To Our Oceans, Earth Uprising, Share A Book India, SoulConnect, Comic Con India, to name a few. Anjali steps into the Picture This spotlight and shares her insights. 

 

Hi! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your involvement in the United Nations Foundation initiative Girl Up?

My name is Anjali Patel. I am a 19-year-old writer and an activist based in Mumbai, India. Over these past few years, I have worked with multiple organisations and publications, including ELLE Magazine, Girl Up Organisation, Ketto Crowdfunding, Share A Book India, and many more. 

My journey with the United Nations Foundation initiative Girl UP started back in 2020 when Covid-19 was at its peak. I reached out to Girl Up Bombay, joined as a social media manager and treasurer, and started advocating for issues I am passionate about through social media, conducting live streams, webinars, and so on. After a few months, I started my own publication and reached out to Girl Up India for a mini-issue collaboration, where we decided we would highlight 15 women doing phenomenal work in our community and give them a space to share their stories with the world. This issue was published in print and digitally on Women’s Day and all the proceeds were used to fund grassroots efforts by Girl Up Campaign in India. This steadfast, fearless, and united global family has taught me so much in these past few years and I am extremely grateful for all the support and love I have received from everyone at Girl Up India. 

 


 

We’re asking entrants to submit videos that are either 30 or 60 seconds long - a good challenge! Do you have any advice for videomakers preparing their submissions?

When it comes to the submissions, I am looking for videos that tell a story, accentuating the urgency and significance of climate change and how drastic the effects will be if we don’t take action as soon as possible! I would want these videos to engage and influence people to raise awareness, and take action to promote a positive future for the planet and the people by taking ambitious steps to combat climate change. 

Entrants could perhaps showcase visionary and innovative solutions by talking about how climate change affects their family, friends, and themselves. Get Creative! Use music, and images, create stop motion videos, anything that explains the climate emergency and prompts viewers to take action NOW! 

Congratulations on creating Conteur, a publication that’s available in print and digital form. What are the key principles you keep in mind when producing this publication? 

Thank you so much! The one principle I usually keep in mind is to not put in any restrictions like word count, or topics to write about, and to give these artists the creative freedom they require in order to get their stories out on paper. In these past few years, I have noticed that there are multiple zines and publications that put in several limitations, which is something I really detest. I want to give people a safe space to come forward, talk about their passions, issues they care about, and influence people to work together towards change. 

 

You’ve collaborated with an impressive number of organisations, companies and publications to promote women’s rights and climate change; what tips do you have when trying to galvanize people and inspire change? 

Once again, thank you so much! Being authentic while getting your story and struggles out there is probably the one tip I try to give out to people. Spread the word, start conversations with your friends and families, and also be inclusive. By this I mean the people who are most impacted probably have the most influential and relatable stories to share, let’s make sure we raise voices and empower those people who for far too long have been disenfranchised.

 

Why did you decide to be on the judging panel for Picture This? 

Storytelling and climate action are two things I have always been passionate about and being offered this opprtunity was something I could not say no to. I have spent these past few years looking for spaces to talk about the issues that are close to me and I am really looking forward to using this platform to influence and engage people to come forward and lead the fight for the future.