There has never been a more important time for acknowledging and investigating the crucial role of conflict photography in shaping our understanding of international affairs and faraway crises.
Presenters: Dr. Lauren Walsh Nina Berman Spencer Platt Maryanne Golon
Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse
Photoville Talks at St. Ann’s Warehouse are produced by United Photo Industries and supported in part by PhotoWings and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.
This panel brings together a scholar, photographers, and a director of photography, and explores the complexities and ethical dilemmas of conflict photography in the contemporary moment. The tools of warfare include chemical weapons, terrorists compete using visual propaganda, and media literacy lags. The critical line between documentation and exploitation is trickier than ever to define.
This conversation among experts presents a penetrating look at the struggles of the craft and the practitioners who keep it alive, from brushes with death on the frontlines, to the battles for space, resources, and attention in the media. Despite these obstacles, they remain true to a purpose, one that is palpable as they celebrate the crucial value of journalism alongside remarkable success stories: from changing the life of a single individual, to raising broad awareness about human rights issues.
Dr. Lauren Walsh teaches at The New School and New York University, where she is the Director of the Gallatin Photojournalism Lab. She is also the Director of Lost Rolls America, a national archive of photography and memory. Her recent book, Conversations on Conflict Photography, is a powerful exploration of the visual documentation of war and humanitarian crisis, and her forthcoming title is Through the Lens: The Pandemic and Black Lives Matter. Her other books include: Shadow of Memory (co-author); The Millennium Villages Project (co-editor); Macondo: Memories of the Colombian Conflict (editor); and The Future of Text and Image: Collected Essays on Literary and Visual Conjunctures (co-editor).
She has published widely in mainstream media as well as academic journals and anthologies. In addition to her appearances on CNN, NPR, and BBC, Walsh has appeared as an expert on photography in podcasts and documentary films. She is the co-director of Biography of a Photo, an in-progress documentary about two iconic photographs of conflict.
Walsh is interested in the politics and ethics of photography, and questions of historical memory and visual media. She focuses particularly on photojournalism, with a specialty in conflict photography and peace journalism. Walsh was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from NYU.
Nina Berman is an American photographer who has covered the conflict in Bosnia and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. She now focuses attention on the aftermath of war and contemporary political, and social landscapes in the U.S. Her photographs and videos have been exhibited at over one hundred venues worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Poland, and Dublin Contemporary (IMMA).
She has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Open Society Foundations, World Press Photo, and Hasselblad, among others. She is an associate professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and she is a member of NOOR photo agency.
Spencer Platt, a photojournalist on staff with the Getty Images wire service, has covered the Iraq War, the plight of displaced Congolese, the minority Kurds in Turkey, the conflict in the Central African Republic, continued fighting in Gaza, Syrians displaced by the country’s ongoing civil war, the Peshmerga and refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the recent war in Ukraine, among other places and people in crisis.
Platt has won numerous honors for his work, including multiple awards from the Pictures of the Year International competition, and the NPPA Year in Pictures. In 2007, Platt received the World Press Photo of the Year award for an image taken in Beirut, Lebanon.
Maryanne Golon is director of photography at The Washington Post. She is a key member of the senior management team, and she is responsible for all aspects of photography across all platforms. She manages seventeen staff photojournalists, eighteen photography editors, and assigns scores of freelance photojournalists.
In 2019, photojournalist Carolyn Van Houten won the Robert Capa Gold medal from the Overseas Press Club, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism prize for her photography of the migrant crisis. Photojournalist Lorenzo Tugnoli was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, and first place World Press Photo recognition for his coverage of the war in Yemen.
Golon was previously TIME Magazine’s director of photography and co-managed the international newsmagazine’s photography team for more than fifteen years. Golon has received numerous individual and team picture-editing awards from Pictures of the Year International and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism competitions.
Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.
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