Speaking Event for ICRC “Our World at War”

June 10th, 2010

ICRC_inviteOn Friday, June 25, I will be speaking at the opening reception for the exhibition “Our World at War” hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Seattle Red Cross, and featuring images by photographers for the VII Photo Agency. Space is limited, so if you’d like to come to the opening please RSVP as soon as you can.

There are a series of lectures throughout the duration of the exhibition; you can find the exhibition lecture schedule here.

I will be speaking with VII photographer Christopher Morris and the Deputy Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation to the US and Canada, Martin de Boer, about the use of photojournalism in telling stories of war’s impacts. My talk will focus on the legacy of psychological trauma in post-conflict Cambodia.

Please come down, if not for the opening, then for any of the subsequent lectures or simply to see the photographs on from one of the leading editorial photo agencies in the world.

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Importance of Social Media for Storytelling: “My Virginity for $300”

May 24th, 2010

kobreIt is with both pride and thanks that I recognize the publishing of my work by both duckrabbit and kobrechannel. Their acknowledgment increases traffic, views, and relevance of the work. The shout-out lets their audiences know this story exists and, because of the self selecting nature of the web, their viewers actually care about either the content or the method of storytelling. Mass market publications must have more content to appease vastly varying tastes; that means greater overhead for them and, for the viewer, more to sort through to find the content he or she is interested it. Judging by the ongoing collapse and fracturing of editorial publishing, the older, mass market method is no longer as relevant.

One can’t deny the power of social media, this interconnected, interactive, internet based existence. It leverages the decentralization of communication, allowing individuals to publish rich media, to shout the news into an electronic network connected to the eyes and ears of our audience, be it one or a million.

The ease of publishing means the internet is awash in content, some hyper local, some global, and a lot of it is simply “noise.” Rising over the chaos and clutter and distraction is difficult when attention spans are growing shorter and the bandwidth increasingly clogged. Lest we become wallflowers of the web, content generators must leverage social media, as a concept, tool, and methodology. We must honor its tenets of give and take, participation, contribution. We must build an existence from the comfort of our computer chair, creating an avatar for the cocktail party of the virtual world. The quality, and the quantity, of our relationships determine our popularity, our volume, our influence.

duckrabbitAll that being said, what I am most grateful for is that Srey Neth has greater opportunity to be heard, to have an impact, and to make a difference. When she shared her story with me, I took on the responsibility of giving her voice farther reach. She wants the world to know that she is no longer captive of her experience; instead, she is using it to make a difference.

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