Aaron Huey: Speaking at TEDx on the Lakota

June 17th, 2010

Aaron Huey is a Seattle-based photographer with a personal project he’s documented for years. It is the story of the Lakota, a Sioux Indian tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Recently, Huey gave a TEDx talk in Denver on his work, drawing parallels between the story of the Lakota and indigenous people around the world.

I wanted to re-post this TEDx talk on my blog out of respect for Huey’s work and commitment to following this story, to help him honor the journalist’s commitment to his or her subject–that being to tell their story–and for you to hear his TED wish.

This is a 15 minute video of his lecture. It is rich in imagery; I thought I could just listen while I worked on other stuff, but instead I found myself unable to look away. Take the time to view it, over morning coffee, lunch, or in the afternoon when you need a break from work. It is a powerful indictment of Manifest Destiny. Remember that from that your junior high US history class?

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Posted in events, human rights, inspiration, photography, social justice, speaking event Comments Off on Aaron Huey: Speaking at TEDx on the Lakota

Contributor: 2010 TIP Report by US Dept. of State

June 14th, 2010

2010_TIP_reportToday the 2010 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons report was published online. It’s a weighty tome (printed) and a sizable download (22mb). I am honored to be one of the few photographers contributing to this important report, with an image from my work on the Cambodian border (work I am currently seeking funding to continue).

The TIP Report evaluates every country in the world for its efforts in combating human trafficking. Most notably about this year’s report, it is the first time the United States has also evaluated itself. From the report:

Secretary Clinton (June 14, 2010): “The 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report outlines the continuing challenges across the globe, including in the United States. The Report, for the first time, includes a ranking of the United States based on the same standards to which we hold other countries. The United States takes its first-ever ranking not as a reprieve but as a responsibility to strengthen global efforts against modern slavery, including those within America. This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it.”

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Posted in clients, human rights, human trafficking, photography, publishing, recognition, social justice Comments Off on Contributor: 2010 TIP Report by US Dept. of State

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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