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A close-up of Nicky Woo’s head and shoulders. Her hair is curly, and she is wearing a light green Team Century jersey with the Hyundai logo on it.

Nicky Woo: An eye for sustainability

4 minute read

Every game of football has a story to tell. There is drama, excitement and even sometimes an injustice that needs to be captured and shared for the world to see and understand. The world of storytelling outside football is no different. As a visual storyteller Nicky Woo, is dedicated to opening our eyes to the impact of climate change and social unrest. Join us as we get to know our number 19, her work, and what she brings to the team!

Storytellers come in all shapes and sizes. Some use words while others use film. And then there are those who use photography to capture images that are so expressive that they affect us in ways we never knew existed. That’s Nicky Woo. Team Century’s newest member. We caught up with her to find out how she is exploring the topic of sustainability.

Nicky is a New York based award-winning investigative photographer, who has always focused on documenting social unrest and the dramatic affect that climate change has upon it. But Nicky approaches her work with a sense of optimism and hope for change. She uses her photography to shed light on an ever-changing world, the consequences for our climate, and possible solutions.

Today, Nicky is a key member of the team and she is helping us to score the greatest goal - a united world for sustainability.

A side view of Nicky Woo taking a photo with her camera. She is wearing a light green Team Century t-shirt.

My work focuses on social justice and the vital role sustainability and environmental policy play in supporting the well-being and prosperity of all humans. NICKY WOO, TEAM CENTURY MEMBER

She has been awarded the American Photography 37, Portrait of Humanity, the Nikon-Stafford FotoReportage grants for her work, as well as a Reuters Storytelling grant - all while being a long-time contributor for The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and CNN among others.

Nicky Woo sitting in a corner, with her elbow on a window ledge. She is lit by light from a window and surrounded by green plants. She is wearing a brown pull-over and a gold necklace.

So, Nicky, what have you learnt from your work as a visual storyteller?

“I’ve learned how the themes I cover are connected to our collective impact in that, often, the stories I work on to depict the consequences of our global impact on marginalized societies.”

One of Nicky’s photographs depicting a child submerged in the shallow ocean holding their nose with another unseen person sat behind them.
One of Nicky’s photographs depicting a child standing on top of a dome looking into the ocean.

How can photography be used to unite the world for sustainability?

“Photojournalism often captures humanity in its most disatrous state, and I believe in the power that hard truth has to shift a viewer’s consciousness from apathy to consideration and, ideally, from consideration to action. I also aspire to present stories that, while telling often difficult truths, are infused with a hopefulness the viewer can take with them.”

Nicky Woo surveying her photographs which are laid out in front of her on a wooden table. She is wearing a brown pull-over and brown trousers and there are two green plants behind her.
Nicky Woo surveying her photographs and looking behind her. The photographs are laid out on the table in front of her, she is wearing brown pull-over and brown trousers and behind her there is a green couch.

What does joining Hyundai’s Team Century mean to you?

“It means partnering with an organization with actionable goals for fostering sustainability, which makes me feel hopeful for the future of the planet and humankind.”

And finally, why the number 19?

“This number refers to 2019, the year I made a photography series called, “As the Water Comes”. I tried to document the rising sea levels in northern Senegal. The series showed the devastation of coastal villages and the lives of the people who lived there. I will continue to expand on this series, particularly on the sustainable projects helping the community to live more in harmony with nature, and not having to fight against it. That’s why I chose the number 19, because it means working together to build a future for all.”

Nicky Woo standing and holding her Team Century jersey. She is wearing a brown jumper and brown trousers and smiling.

Want to follow Team Century and find out how all of the members are working with us to score the Goal of the Century(GOTC)? Follow Hyundai(@hyundai ) on Instagram to see them all in action.


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