Jim Fenwick: Fight or Fish

At Locate we have the privilege of working with some of the world’s most interesting and experienced creative professionals. We want to shine a spotlight on some of the brilliant people we partner with on shoots and campaigns.

Jim Fenwick is a photographer based in Notting Hill, London and has been a friend of the Locate family for over 15 years. He has worked with Locate on a range of productions – including clients such as Nike, Vodafone and HSBC. However, he also loves using his commercial photography skills to give something back to under-privileged communities.

We spoke to Jim about one of his most recent personal projects: photographing young boxers from the Bukom neighbourhood of Accra, Ghana. Titled ‘Fight or Fish’, the project captures a tiny community that has produced more boxing world champions per square metre than any other place in the world.

For generations, the main vocation in Bukom has been fishing. This involves high intensity work with little rest over a prolonged period of time – it is perhaps no coincidence that boxing demands the same sort of physicality. In a deprived area like Bukom there are very limited employment opportunities, young boys are left with little choice: fish or fight. As a consequence there are over twenty boxing gyms in an area the size of four football pitches, and most of the men are connected to boxing in some way.

Jim became interested in this small neighbourhood back in 2013 and says:

I searched out and met the Ghanaian lightweight boxer Richard Commey. At the time he was the African champion and had a perfect record of 17 fights and 17 wins by KO. He will fight for the World Title again one day soon and I will be there. Richard Commey gives hope to many in Ghana. Hope that one can find a better future.

It is this hope that is important to both Jim and the Locate team. Being able to use our professional experience and expertise to give back to communities like Bukom brings an added depth and meaning to our day to day work.

Jim describes how his photography work evolved into community involvement:

My project started out as purely documentary in nature but as I got to know Richard and his manager I crossed a line and became more and more involved. I learned about the business of boxing and saw how crazy it all was. Fighters avoiding Richard, promoters not letting him fight, you soon learn that being able to fight in the ring is only a small part of becoming a champion. I hated the injustice of it all. Utilising the tools and tricks we use daily in our commercial lives I decided to help get Richard noticed. I pulled in help and we created a logo, then one of Locate’s freelance stylists Lisa Dredge made his ringwear and custom designed fight gloves. We worked on his marketing and PR, making fight posters, press packs and image libraries we made it as easy as possible for the press and public to access Richard.

We also got involved with the wider community in Jamestown. With the help of Locate Productions we were able to run an art workshop at the orphanage school and feed the young children for a month. The child boxers of the town were also a concern to us as their equipment was so worn out and threadbare. Thanks again to our supporters we were able to donate quality new boxing gloves, head guards, gum shields and clothing to help protect the young boxers of the town.

Working with creative individuals like Jim, who lets his personal ethos overflow into his professional life, is one of the perks of the job at Locate. We have found that developing mutual creative partnerships, based on common values, is what produces our best work.

Luckily, Jim enjoys working with us too!

What I love about working with Locate is that you feel like you’re talking to a human being. They have a particularly ethical side to them that you don’t normally see in this industry. They’re keen to give back. They’re hard working, and they expect others to work hard too – it brings the best out of people, I respect that. At the end of the day we’re all human beings, and if we can somehow put back into situations like the one in Bukom, then that’s fabulous!

We are proud that we work with so many creative, adventurous professionals who are leaders in their fields. It challenges us to think differently, and maintain the high standards and quality of work we adhere to.

Take a look at more of Jim’s work on his website: www.jimfenwick.com

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In October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that we have 12 years to limit a climate change catastrophe. This felt like a huge wake-up call to Locate and as a company, we’re responding to the climate crisis by creating a culture where sustainability is at the heart of all we do.

We’re keeping track of our efforts and teaming up with like-minded companies and suppliers to learn more, share ideas and help find solutions. Here’s an overview of our sustainability journey so far:

November 2018

In order to learn more about what is being done in the industry, we attended our first Ad Green event. Ad Green is an initiative launched by the Advertising Association (AA) in partnership with Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) that aims to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of production.

January 2019

We became an affiliated member of Albert, a carbon-calculator designed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and with their support, we hosted a carbon literacy training day for our staff, freelancers and regular suppliers. Whilst Albert was originally created for the film and TV industry to help calculate the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a direct result of making the programme, we use it for our stills photographic and small moving image shoots.

February 2019

We started using Pedal Me for couriers, which produce 90% less CO2 compared with cars and vans as well as switching to Green Tomato Cars for taxis and cabs, who are London’s first and largest hybrid car service. They also double offset their carbon emissions.

March 2019

We invested in more KeepCups and water bottles to take on shoots (and use in the office). This investment, as well as waste reduction, has been a great conversation starter and helps create a zero waste culture on our shoots. March 2019 also saw our sister company Gripvan invest in a motor-assisted delivery bike to help reduce their transport emissions.

April 2019

Filming on location with Adam Hinton, we helped produce an awareness video for Global Action Plan. The film highlighted the issues of people living in heavily polluted areas and promoted National Air Pollution day (which takes place on the third Thursday of June every year):

 

May 2019

This month, we attended another Ad Green event. Sharing ideas, gaining knowledge, networking and communicating are all essential in helping create positive change in the industry. We also attended an event for sustainable set design at BAFTA. It was great to hear about the work Dresd are doing with recycling and reusing sets.

June 2019

Whilst we’ve always tried to use local caterers who provide seasonal menus, June 2019 saw us make the conscious decision to implement a vegetarian option as standard, on shoots. A vegetarian meal is less than a kilogram of carbon whilst fish and meat dishes can produce anything between 1.6-14 times more.

July 2019

We trialled a 2kw VOLTstack battery systems on a shoot for Jaguar around the UK and on an 18 hour time-lapse shoot in the city to power laptops. As well as being silent, not needing fuel and avoiding cable runs, we think it saved approx 10kg of CO2 per day for 6 days.

August 2019

As per a recommendation from the Creative Energy scheme, we switched our energy supplier to Good Energy. This saves an approximate 3.2 tonnes of CO2 per annum. Which? ranked Good Energy top of their report on UK renewable energy suppliers. Good Energy guarantee all energy is traceable to a UK generation source.

September 2019

We delivered a 2 minute film and a suite of still images for an organisation called The Sailboat Project who are using sail cargo to transport produce around the world. This particular project showed the delivery of olives, olive oil and almonds. Many thanks to Adrian Wolfson and Stephen Ambrose for their help in capturing the arrival of the boat into Newhaven harbour.

 

September 2019 also saw us take part in the Worldwide Climate Crisis Strike. We closed our offices and took to the streets of London and Brighton to join millions of people around the world striking on behalf of the planet. One of our banners quoted Kate Marvel: “We need courage, not hope, to face climate change”.

October 2019

We attended a Purpose Disruptors action event. Purpose Disruptors are a network of advertising insiders whose goal is to: ‘create a visible, large scale, bottom-up movement within the industry, that will act in solidarity to meaningfully tackle climate change’.  This was another key moment in our journey. How to tackle the industry we service has felt like the biggest issue, so to find a group of talented people with great ideas on what can be done to change the ad industry in a way that supports a sustainable planet was brilliant. 

November 2019

We implemented an optional ‘1% for the Planet’ to our invoices to go towards sustainability projects. We don’t feel carbon offsetting is a solution and we don’t have the software in place to accurately calculate our emissions. However, we appreciate that we need to be supporting projects that help absorb carbon from the atmosphere – such as planting trees, growing kelp forests and developing other biodiversity projects. Our present project is a reforestation scheme in Romania called Forests without Frontiers. Thank you to all the clients that have been happy supporting us with this. This scheme has been instrumental in developing conversations we wouldn’t otherwise have had.

November 2019

We attended the one-day Meaning Conference in Brighton. The six core themes to the conference are: Planet Positive Business, Progressive Economics, The Future of Work, Personal Growth, Disruptive Innovation & Modern Leadership.

One of the workshops was run by a group called Business Declares who are helping advise businesses on how they can declare a climate emergency. We learnt about how companies are registering for B Corporation status, which is an alternative way of evaluating the success of a business based on the principles of people, planet and profit.

December 2019

Our monthly newsletter showcased a photographic project we facilitated with a Brighton-based mobile farm shop called The Sussex Peasant. Shot by a wonderful photographer Jack Boniface, the photos help showcase the locally produced, seasonally grown, low meat produce which are essential in order to tackle the climate crisis.

December 2019 also saw us attend a number of talks and meet suppliers at The Green Zone at Focus, the annual conference for international production, held at the Business Design Centre.

January 2020

We switched our web hosting to a supplier that uses renewable energy called Erjjio Studios. Powering the internet is responsible for 2% of global carbon emissions; roughly the same footprint from global aviation fuel emissions. This month, we also hosted a discussion group about developing a wardrobe styling store. Based on the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ principle this will help reduce the emissions created from deliveries and collections, as well as cut back on the amount of wardrobe bought and returned on shoots.

February 2020

Valentine’s Day saw our co-founder Angus Light, participate in a sustainable production talk hosted and organised by Sunbeam Studios, the AOP and AdGreen.

April 2020

During the Covid-19 lockdown, our production department did a training session with Albert using their carbon calculator. Using 8 sample productions from the past 2 years the results showed that on average Transport was responsible for approx. 70% – 80% of carbon emissions from our shoots.

May 2020

We participated in the Great Reset initiative; a creative industry movement that aims to embed the positive environmental shifts that have happened during lockdown as ‘the new normal’. It’s estimated that the pause and slowdown of consumption, shopping and flying caused by the lockdown will result in a 7% decrease in global emissions in 2020. The UN states that we need a decrease of 7.6% every year until 2030 to avoid climate and ecological disaster.

November 2020

A summary of our work and efforts so far was included in the Ad Net Zero report. Ad Net Zero is an industry-wide, not-for-profit initiative led by the Advertising Association, the IPA and the ISBA which aims to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing, and running UK advertising to real net zero by the end of 2030. You can download, read more and sign up to the Ad Net Zero scheme on the Advertising Associations’ website.

 

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