Curriculum Cites My Photojournalistic Navel-Gazing

Get a load of this. My cousin emailed me a screenshot from her photography curriculum at the Academy of Art University that cites an article I wrote for Sojourners about renowned war photographer James Nachtwey in 2004—in which I reflected on my experience of not getting into Sudan in 2000:

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Since writing these articles I wouldn’t say I’ve made a career covering war, but living in Palestine is giving me plenty of opportunity to reflect on conflict photography. In her email, my cousin asked what might change if documentary photography focused on education and communication imagery as much as war imagery. I do tend to take a lot of photos of people with guns.

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But I’m also trying to be more intentional about finding positive images. Working for MCC helps—our partner orgs do a lot of amazing work in development and peace-building. But even then there’s the tension of wanting to include the context of the conflict when showing the resiliency of those enduring it. Here’s one of my recent favorites, though—workers in Gaza straightening rebar taken from bombed-out buildings for re-use in new construction, due to the Israeli blockade on construction materials:

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