Madrid’s Fundación Canal Amplifies Exhibit Storytelling With Pond5 Stock


Madrid cultural institution Fundación Canal welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Learn how they used stock imagery and audio to enhance their latest exhibit, SOMOS AGUA. 

Built two decades ago in the heart of Madrid, Fundación Canal, or Canal Foundation, is part museum, part event space. It’s devoted to educating the public about water and encouraging visitors to learn new ways to care for the world’s most precious resource. The Canal Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Canal de Isabel II, the public company responsible for Madrid’s entire water supply.

Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people—both locals and tourists—come to the Canal Foundation each year. They browse exhibits, attend lectures, or even experience concerts. The Canal Foundation aims to create dynamic experiences and frequently refreshes exhibitions focusing on water usage, conservation, and innovation. A recent exhibition, SOMOS AGUA, translated to WE ARE WATER, explores the importance of water for life.

“The exhibit seeks to inspire necessary change,” says the Canal de Isabel II team, highlighting how the curation team used Pond5 resources to bring the exhibit to life.

Storytelling with Stock Media

Building an Expansive Exhibit

Water sustainability is a universal issue. Because of this, the exhibit team wanted to showcase the world of water beyond Europe. Full-screen panels peppered with a mixture of gorgeous landscapes, marine flora, and scientific images of the human body take up entire walls, allowing visitors to completely immerse themselves in the exhibition.

To fully portray water’s importance to life, civilization, and creativity, the curation team used stock imagery to round out the graphic and information panels that covered the underground water tank expo.

The depth and breadth of Pond5 stock imagery allowed the team to illustrate various aspects of water in different parts of the world without worrying about setting up global shoots. Visitors can journey through seas, where footage of turtles flowing in the current and the swishing sounds of swimming fish bring to life the enchanting experience of being underwater. Or they can discover new ways to combat climate change by viewing one of 80 audiovisual productions that show how simple acts like not leaving the tap water running can help prevent water scarcity.

“The use of stock material has allowed us to address issues that otherwise we would not have been able to illustrate graphically, and this has greatly enriched the possibilities at a creative and conceptual level,” they explain.

Storytelling With Pond5 Stock

Crafting Complex Stories

This exhibition undertakes The Canal Foundation’s mission to generate knowledge and narrate the importance of water management. They utilized Pond5’s wide array of stock media to tell their story in a visually attractive and accessible way.

With more than 605K videos in the captivating “Underwater” Pond5 Footage collection and seamless access to 37 million more clips, the curation team felt confident they would find the imagery they needed within Pond5’s selection.

“The scripts [for our exhibits] dealt with very diverse topics. However, we always found images and videos in the Pond5 archive to illustrate them. This allowed us to take risks with very specific descriptions [of places] located in remote parts of the world.”

They also used the Pond5 library as a jumping-off point during their ideation and exploration. First finding imagery then matching it to specific topics they wished to showcase within the exhibition.

Underwater stock footage

An All-In-One AV Experience

In this exhibit, visitors go on an interactive journey that submerges them in the beauty of water, from great rivers to glaciers. This experience required easy access to an extensive library of resources.

Knowing that students and families are welcome to explore all exhibits, like the 17,000 km of Canal de Isabel II pipeline or a LED tunnel that simulates the bottom of the sea, it was important for every experience to be approachable.

“Stock content has been fundamental for this exhibition, as it covered the content needs of both audiovisual pieces and graphic panels”. Finding multimedia stock all in one place allows curators to create a cohesive panel that tells the exact story needed.

Storytelling with Stock Media

The Right Partner for the Project

The Canal Foundation team adds that partnering with Pond5 gave the team flexibility with licensing and pricing. They felt confident they could pick the right package at the right price to serve the needs of this exhibit—as well as future ventures.

“Pond5 offered us the perfect package that we needed for the project, as well as helping us to find a specific material for each production.”

The team utilized Pond5’s free research assistance and media licensing experts to stay within budget and obtain the correct licenses for media used in the project. Unquestionably, having access to experts saves time and avoids any last-minute headaches that might come up due to license misunderstandings.

SOMOS AGUA runs through June 2023. While the Foundation has yet to announce its next exhibit, the Acciona Cultura team behind SOMOS AGUA knows that stock media will help them make it happen. Working together with Pond5 allowed the team to tell a complex story designed to not only captivate but to inspire change.