Apr 272019
 archive : Photoville LA

Safety in Focus: The US/Mexico Border

This panel will use coverage of the US/Mexico border as a case study to delve deeply into the issues photographers face while trying to work safely and effectively.

Presenters: Scout Tufankjian Guillermo Arias Brian L. Frank Carolyn Cole

Moderators: Michael De Dora

Location: Annenberg Space for Photography

Presented by:

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

This panel will use coverage of the US/Mexico border as a case study to delve deeply into the issues photographers face while trying to work safely and effectively.

Against a global backdrop in which it is becoming increasingly dangerous to be a journalist, photojournalists face enormous safety and security challenges that are specific to our medium. CPJ has launched an initiative, Safety in Focus, to conduct research into the risks photographers face, advocate for a safer work environment, and develop tools to help photographers understand and mitigate risk and danger to themselves and their subjects–whether the risks are physical, digital, psychosocial, or legal.

Presenter Bios

  • Scout Tufankjian

    Scout Tufankjian

    lthough she has spent the bulk of her career working in the Middle East, Scout Tufankjian is best known for her work documenting both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and her book on the 2007-2008 campaign Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Her new book, There is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project is the culmination of six years documenting Armenian communities in over 20 different countries.

    More recently, she has worked for the HALO Trust in Nagorno-Karabakh and Angola, and has served as a temporary acting director of CPJ’s Emergency Response Team. She continues to work as a freelance photographer and serves as a consultant for RISC Training and for CPJ’s Safety in Focus initiative. More of her work can be seen at

  • Guillermo Arias

    Guillermo Arias

    Guillermo Arias – Based in Tijuana, México, I´m a regular collaborator with Agence France-Presse (AFP.) In 1993 I started working as a freelance photojournalist in Tepic, Mexico. From 1994 to 2001, I worked on staff and freelanced for various local newspapers in Guadalajara and Tepic, Mexico, and as a contract photographer for the Associated Press from 2001 until 2011. I was a staff photographer at Xinhua News Agency’s Latin America bureau, 2011-2016.

    I have recently finished my personal project El cerco, supported by a three-year grant awarded from Mexico`s Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte (SNCA) 2014-2017.

    During my career I´ve received various honors including a World Press Photo Honorable Mention for Contemporary Issues, 2010; NPPA, Best of Photojournalism, Honorable Mention on both Domestic News Picture Story and Domestic News Singles, 2010; 67th Pictures of the Year International (POYi), Award of Excellence for Spot News; Photographers Giving Back Award (PGB), First Place, Spot News Picture of the Year 2009; The Deadline Club, New York City Chapter, Spot News Photo, 2009; Premio Nacional de Periodismo Cultural Fernando Benitez 2009 for the story Los muertos de todos los dias, (Every Day Dead); Honorable Mention at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar for News Story, Drug War, 2009; Third place at the first POYi Latin America, Spot News Single; Third place in the 17th Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents, for Guerre contre la drogue (Drug War); First place on the second POYi Latin America, Spot News Single, among others.

  • Brian L. Frank

    Brian L. Frank

    b. 1979

    A San Francisco native, Brian L. Frank has created social documentary projects across the Americas focusing on cultural identity, social inequality, violence, workers rights and the environment.

    Most recently, he co-founded the Tacet-Eye Long Form Documentary Workshop. His recent collaboration with For Freedoms and National Geographic documents faith in the California migrant worker community. He is a Professor of Journalism and a Catchlight Global-Fellow. His work with Catchlight, The Pulitzer Center and The Marshall Project has focused on mass incarceration’s effects on minority communities and visuals-based, education curriculum development.

    His 2-year project, Downstream, Death of the Colorado, is held in permanent collection at the United States Library of Congress and was recognized by POYi with the Global Vision Award. His work has been recognized with numerous other awards both nationally and internationally.

    Upon completing the Journalism program at SFSU, he worked primarily for The Wall Street Journal from 2008 – 2014 and currently focuses on long-term documentary magazine features in California, the American Southwest, and Mexico.

    His work has frequently appeared in most major national and international publications, including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The New York Times and many other publications.

  • Carolyn Cole

    Carolyn Cole

    An established photographer with many prestigious awards to her credit, Carolyn Cole currently operates as a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. Focused on capturing compelling images in new and interesting ways, Carolyn is passionate about the stories she tells through imagery.

    Over the years, Ms. Cole has covered many stories both domestic and abroad. Her work in Liberia earned a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She has also worked on assignments throughout Iraq, Israel, Haiti, Kenya, and beyond. Featured in publications including COLOR MagazineTIME, and The Pulitzer Prize Photographs, Carolyn continues to develop and enhance her own unique style.

Moderator Bios

  • Michael De Dora

    Michael De Dora

    Michael De Dora is Washington advocacy manager at the Committee to Protect Journalists. He leads efforts to advance press freedom around the world with the U.S. government and other policymakers in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CPJ, he served as director of government affairs and as the main representative to the United Nations at the Center for Inquiry, where he managed a range of domestic and international advocacy initiatives to advance freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

    Michael was twice elected president of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York. He has a master’s degree in political science from Brooklyn College and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from the University at Albany. He started his career as an editor at Fox News.


  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

    The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. CPJ provides comprehensive support to journalists and media support staff working around the world through up-to-date safety and security information and rapid response assistance.

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