Photography and the Struggle for a Better World
Panelists: Michelle Bogre, Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi, Amy Yenkin
Moderator: Glenn Ruga
Friday, October 25, 1:30 pm
PDN PhotoPlus Expo, Jacob Javits Center, NY
Some photographers go out into the world to record it and others set out to change it. Since the founding of photography in 1839, there has been a rich tradition of talented photographers with a burning desire to do both. Matthew Brady, Roger Fenton, Robert Capa, W. Eugene Smith and more recently Jonathan Togorvnik, Sebastiao Salgado, Donna Ferrato and Lynsey Addario are just some of the luminaries of photojournalism and documentary photography who have changed our perception of the world, and therefore the world itself.
The presenters on this panel discussion will each talk about how socially conscious photographers are embracing the challenges of new technologies and a new economy to continue to inform the public about injustice and, in many cases, using this awareness to change the world.
Photograph by Ed Kashi.
Michelle Bogre, an Associate Professor of Photography at Parsons The New School for Design, is a documentary photographer, copyright lawyer and author of Photography As Activism: Images for Social Change, published by Focal Press. Her photographs and articles have been widely published in national magazines and she is a regular contributor to American Photo and American Photo On Campus magazines. Her photographs have been featured in group shows at the Lawrence O’Brien Gallery in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and in Beauty Culture at the Annenberg Space for Photography in LA. She is working on a long term photographic project on family farms in America.
Award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv has produced images of some of the most important conflict and humanitarian crises that havemade headlines around the world. Numerous museums and galleries have featured his work, including The Louvre, United Nations, and The Council on Foreign Relations. Co-founder of the photo agency VII, his work is published by magazines worldwide.
Haviv has published three critically acclaimed collections of his photography—Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, Afghanistan: On the Road to Kabul and Haiti:12 January 2010.
Haviv has been the central character in three films including National Geographic Explorer’s Freelance in a World of Risk that explores the hazards inherent in combat photography. In addition, Haviv regularly speaks about his work on television and radio such as ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, The Charlie Rose Show,Good Morning America, BBC, CNN and NPR.
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition.
Kashi’s innovative approach to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook with MediaStorm in 2006, which has been shown in film festivals and museums around the world. An eight-year project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, has created one of the most extensive visual archives on aging in the United States.
Along with numerous awards from World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International, UNICEF’s Photo of the Year 2010, a Prix Pictet 2010 Commission and honors from Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. He has seven books, including Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and THREE. Kashi’s latest book, Photojournalisms, is a compilation of journal writings to his wife, done over a nearly 20-year period, from various locations around the world.
Glenn Ruga is the Founder and Director of SocialDocumentary.net and the former Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston (www.prcboston.org). In 2012, Ruga was selected as a curator of the New York Photo Festival. (http://nyph.at/ruga/).
Since the founding of SocialDocumentary.net in 2008, Ruga has curated six exhibitions at the powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn. At the Photographic Resource Center, Ruga curated Global Health in Focus featuring work by Kristen Ashburn, and an exhibition of work by Rania Matar titled Girls in Between: Portraits of Identity.
From 1984 to 2010, he was the owner and creative director of Visual Communications, a graphic design and marketing firm located in Lowell, Mass. His clients included Physicians for Human Rights, the International and US Campaigns to Ban Landmines, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, the Civil Rights Program at Harvard Law School, the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, and other non-profit, educational, and human rights organizations. To find out more about his graphic design firm, see: www.vizcom.com
Ruga's own photography has included creating traveling and online documentary exhibits on the struggle for a multicultural future in Bosnia, the war and aftermath in Kosovo, and on an immigrant community in Holyoke, Mass. (http://socialdocumentary.net/photographer/GlennRuga)
Amy Yenkin is the director of the Open Society Documentary Photography Project, based in New York City. She joined the Open Society Foundations in 1994 as the deputy director of scholarships and later held the positions of associate director of the Open Media Research Institute (an Open Society Foundations-related organization based in Prague) and associate director of Open Society U.S. Programs.
Yenkin helped establish the Moving Walls exhibition in 1998, and in 2004 developed and launched the Open Society Documentary Photography Project which explores the intersection of photography and social change through grantmaking, exhibitions, public programs, and workshops.
Prior to the Open Society Foundations, she worked in Washington, D.C., as the director of government relations for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where she represented U.S. colleges and universities in lobbying the U.S. Congress and government agencies on immigration policies affecting foreign students and the hiring of foreign faculty and researchers. She received her BA in history from the University of Michigan.