In September 2018 Susi Bascon and Manu Valcarce made their first trip to Colombia. Inspired by the stories of human rights defenders, Portraits of Resilience, Hope and Solidarity was born. Since then, they have travelled to Mexico, Honduras and Kenya and gathered over a 100 interviews with human rights defenders from all walks of life. United by their passion for human rights, they have put together a collection of work celebrating these brave peace makers. Combining Susi's twenty years of human rights expertise and experience with Manu's story telling flair and artistic sensibility, the project culminated in this online platform.
Manu Valcarce is a Spanish documentary photographer & Filmmaker based in London. Manu has worked on projects ranging from the lives of Muslim transexuals living in Jakarta, Indonesia to those affected by the favela's pacification before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Manu graduated in MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism in LCC in January 2016. Since then his work has been screened in the Tate Modern and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and exhibited in solo and collective shows as well as photography festivals. He has been shortlisted by Travel Photographer of the Year, AOP Open Awards, and National Geographic Photo Contest.
Susi Bascon began her career in Madrid working in the financial sector. After completing her M.B.A and a MSc in Development studies she joined Peace Brigades International. She undertook the directorship for 25 years, in this time supporting Human Rights activists across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and has since left to work as a senior advisor to legal firms and foundations.
In 2010 she co-founded jointly with the late Sir Henry Brooke CMG the high profile pro bono legal initiative "the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk". In 2018 she led the nomination of the global community of Human Rights activists (HRDs) for the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN Sp Rep on Human Rights defenders, Michael Forst.
She has been instrumental in developing digital initiatives such as the activists online platform, the Simmons & Simmons business and human rights toolbox, and a EU funded e-learning platform for Women Human Rights activists in Mexico. In 2022 she was involved in developing an Access to Remedy toolkit for Asian Human Rights Defenders impacted by corporate abuse on behalf of the UNDP and worked as a senior consultant for the Legal Empowerment Fund -The Fund for Global Human Rights. At present she is working as a senior advisor to Roots2Justice legal initiative.
This project would have not been posible without the invaluable support of PBI Colombia, PBI Mexico, PBI Honduras and PBI Kenya. Thank you to all staff and volunteers who organised our trips and made this project possible. Special thanks to staff members Laura Grace, Theo Fox, and Adam Lunn, and volunteers Max Farmiloe, Marta Hernandez and Marta Paluch at PBI UK for their dedication and countless hours put into this project.
We are honoured to have been able to learn and share the stories of such inspiring human rights defenders. To all of you featured in this project, thank you.
This project was funded by Allan & Nesta Ferguson charitable trust and a number of anonymous donors.