Visual Power Dynamics
Case Study: WeltWegWeiser

Jacob Flatz, a 19-year-old volunteer plays with Juan Carlos De Avila, Yairon Luíz Valdelamar and other students during a break in his English class at the Madre Herlinda Foundation in Pasacaballos, Bolívar (Colombia)


WeltWegWeiser is an Austrian service center for international volunteering that offers a variation of supporting services for volunteers and sending organisations. It was founded by Jugend Eine Welt Don Bosco Development Cooperation and is funded by the Austrian Development Agency.
They reached out to Fairpicture for a project documenting volunteers through a local lens. 

In their brief, WeltWegWeiser emphasised the importance of combating the Euro-centric gaze that often characterises the images we see of international volunteering. Instead, their aim was to show a more equal and collaborative relationship that they feel better reflects their philosophy and approach. The images and video were to be used for social media, their website and various print products.



Visual Creator

Charlie Cordero


International Volunteering 


Cartagena, Colombia


September 2022

The volunteers Johannes Pichler, 20 years old, Jakob Flatz, 19 years old, and Susane Meitz, 62 years old taking care of the plants.


During the assignment, Fairpicture photographer Charlie Cordero concentrated on the three volunteers: Susan (62), Jacob (19) and Johannes (20). They were working on various projects for Fundación Madre Herlinda Moises, focusing on social development, education, wellbeing, and ecology. 

The goal of this assignment was to show how vast and diverse a volunteering experience can be: from teaching English in a school, working in administration, to manual labour outdoors and at a farm, the options are broad. For the production, the three volunteers were accompanied by Charlie during their everyday activities, giving a glimpse of their time there. 

The volunteers work in projects supported by the volunteering organisations Jugend Eine Welt and Internationale Freiwilligeeinsätze Gesmbh.

Photo: Charlie Cordero / Weltwegweiser / Fairpicture

62-year-old volunteer Susane Meitz during a field trip to one of their photography workshops around the headquarters of the Madre Herlina Foundation in Pasacaballos, Bolivar – Colombia.

62-year-old volunteer Susane Meitz during a field trip to one of their photography workshops around the headquarters of the Madre Herlina Foundation in Pasacaballos, Bolivar (Colombia).


Photo: Charlie Cordero / Weltwegweiser / Fairpicture


The production concluded with WeltWegWeiser receiving a selection of lively portraits, video interviews and footage they will now use in communications to recruit the future generation of volunteers. Their dedication to evolving the image, perception and power dynamic between European volunteers and locals in the Global South is the type of change we are grateful to facilitate. As Susanne described to those who followed her footprints: “Just do it. Get out of your comfort zone.” That’s how we can change systems.  


For us, working with Fairpicture was always professional from the start of the assignment to receiving the pictures and videos. We are delighted with the outcome and are looking forward to our next project with them!

Corinna Mittlbach, Projectmanagement Education & Volunteering at WeltWegWeiser

Jacob Flatz 19 year old volunteer

Photo: Charlie Cordero / Weltwegweiser / Fairpicture

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