When I drafted my first resume after college, my career goal was: “documentary photojournalism covering social justice issues.” After some short-term positions with Latin America-focused human rights NGOs in Washington, D.C., I served as Web Editor for Sojourners magazine from 1999-2010. There I enjoyed the mix of visual and editorial skills needed for that role as it evolved over the years, but never I left my first love: photography. During those years, I sought out various independent projects and freelance assignments, including trips to Honduras, Uganda, Colombia, Palestine and Israel, Zambia, and the post-Katrina Gulf Coast.
In 2010, my wife Ingrid and I moved to East Jerusalem to work for the humanitarian NGO Mennonite Central Committee, where we shared the position of Program Administrator, managing a small team of local and international staff that worked exclusively through local partner organizations in Palestine and Israel. During that time I joined the Activestills photography collective, which includes Israeli, Palestinian, and international members. After two years in Jerusalem, we moved to the West Bank town of Bethlehem where worked as a full-time photojournalist with MCC partner Alternative Information Center, a joint Palestinian-Israeli media organization. Our first child, Lukas, was born in Bethlehem’s Holy Family Hospital in August 2012.
Since our time in Palestine ended in June 2014, Ingrid and I spent a month in Iraqi Kurdistan before relocating to Oslo, Norway, the city of Ingrid’s childhood. I continue to work as a freelance journalist, covering issues of human rights, conflict, and social justice, with an ongoing interest in Palestine and Israel.
- Ryan Rodrick Beiler, 2015