10 years ago in March 2006, I changed the direction of my professional life. After many years of working in the television industry, both making programmes and commissioning others to do likewise, I founded the Our Place World Heritage project.
I had heard about the important and fascinating UNESCO World Heritage initiative and thought that there might be some way in which I could use the skills I had accumulated over the years in commercial media. Maybe I could help spread the message about the need to preserve and protect the planets shared cultural and natural heritage assets. I hoped that others might join me in a mission to bring the places inscribed on the UNESCO WH list to the widest possible global audience by using great original photography. An evocative image can communicate across different language and cultural barriers and bring the places photographed to life for large audiences. Photography had been an early passion of mine and Our Place became, and still is, a true “passion project”.
Over the past 10 years numerous photographers; graphic designers; heritage advocates; administrators and cultural enthusiasts have all contributed to make Our Place the authoritive and respected WH photo archive that it is now internationally recognised as. We have an official partnership with UNESCO and work closely with their WH team to support their global WH promotional and communication needs. With nearly 400 sites archived and over 45,000 images on file, Our Place has been involved in numerous exhibitions, educational projects, on-line and hard copy publications and partner presentations.
I’m confident that we have helped spread the positive message of the world’s heritage and looking forward we are currently developing some new and innovative publishing and exhibition formats to reach even more people. We intend to continue growing over the next 10 years and I would like to personally thank all those individuals, organisations and companies who have made invaluable contributions to helping us get where we are today.
The message and challenge of preserving the world’s heritage is just important today as it was when we started. It could be argued that it is even more important now as we look at international events. Thank you friends and colleagues for your support. We look forward to continue working with you in the years ahead.
Geoff Steven, Founder, CEO Our Place