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Visual Storytelling: Why We Shoot

Lesson 6 of 6

The Impact of What We Do

Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi

Visual Storytelling: Why We Shoot

Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi

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Lesson Info

6. The Impact of What We Do

Lesson Info

The Impact of What We Do

So this takes us to serve to the to the final section of this course, which is impact so we talked about why we do this, and we've talked a bit about how we do it, but now we want to talk about the impact of this work and it's all it's all it all comes together here so that oxfam peace and all the work I did with the book and the multimedia piece and exhibitions and then oxfam asked us to produce this the's panel's for an exhibition that went to believe ten or fifteen universities around the united states, and in the end, this was all part of a campaign by oxfam, too push legislation for extractive industries to be more transparent, you know, how much are you making and where is that money going? And the bill was passed, and so even though my work is a tiny, tiny part of that process, nonetheless, it was part of that process. And so these are the kinds of impacts that I've been able to be fortunate enough to be a tiny part of it to realize, and I'd like to turn over iran, who has had s...

ome pretty amazing impact with the work you've done so in a way back when in nineteen, ninety one I read, uh, very small story in the new york times about about this place called yugoslavia and yugoslavia was ah eastern bloc country and it was a country that everybody thought that after the fall so the game was going to make this amazing transition because they're kind of western leaning but the article was like saying that there was some rumblings of nationalism possibly the country might break apart nobody really knew and if they broke apart they thought it was really good chance there could be violence in the heart of europe, so I took some money and I got my my agency to contribute some money and and off I went uh to a place called slovenia, which was one of the republic's and they declared their independence and they're all son was a very short war and slovenia became independent and as I started to learn more about the country and what was going to happen is became very obvious that this country was going to break apart is going to break apart very violently unless it was real intervention from the outside. So over the course of the next ten years I spent more than five years covering the various different wars as yugoslavia broke apart so he's gonna show you guys a piece from that way you have some kind of a deal with them today they're going to forget about it tomorrow I have very bad manners and very bad characters you think they're bad people way in europe faces its first test as yugoslavia's army moves to crush slovenia's democratic bid for independence should the rest of europe stand aside mrs booth it has been reported that the yugoslav army is surrounding sorry but they're doing nothing to stop them talking boris has spent a lot of time in the basement even on a quiet day he rarely ventures beyond the courtyard in front of his apartment house wait, wait fortune I knew in this town it's you off things don't live how about sticking? The place was dark and a fan blade his voice sounded kind of dry eyes who's that guy with funnest she said he's just a friend they brought him behind the house and they told us tow get some things we need for the children it could mean literally various tomi sama jurika don't creak and when we were getting out of the courtyard we heard him scream school tio tomorrow I came back home they gave me the permission to go come back home to get the national union were took and I found him that yeah these photographs here were taken by a photographer who says this is a it's an atrocity no no I will tell you now first thes lady was shot by the muslim sniper it's not what the photographer says we also hear that another man running away was shot in the back by these men that's not true and that somebody else that's not true. Somebody else was marched off into a nearby building on thrown out of the second floor with the life of your life. Wait the chetnik forces me to turn off my tape recorder before I go into what was a machine factory. It is a large space about one hundred yards long and twenty five wide. About one hundred seventy five men are evenly divided on each side there squatting or sitting cross legged on wooden slatted boards on ly a few inches off the ground. They are in total silence. Nearly all have their eyes averted from us. Looking at the floor, I try to communicate, they don't reform and is the mouth at aaron it up on the details of her mother was taken to a detention camp in turn awfully and drawing her index finger quickly across her throat. She explains how her brother was killed in his home in the town of cause a touch she trembled as she speaks. Her eyes are both frightened and furious. She has all the villages in the area have been burned down in the village, people about it and in shock. I don't wear one of the techniques from the central square has followed him to the mother in the quarter he breaks into our group and speaks gruff sweet to the woman telling her it's not true the villages were leveled his voice is minutes she trembled even more than she flaps her hand over her mouth and with her other hands what's her finger to her temple in a shooting gesture she makes it clear that dialogue is over what there will be no you used unilateral use of united states force a cz we have said before we are not and we cannot be the world's policeman the state is not prepared to put ground troops in bosnia in order to resolve or impose a solution on conflict and it should have every reason to be fair about the fact that when the west of the unified voice that he should believe it but if this doesn't work general, what do you think it will do to the people that way? Seven minutes that would be a safe area what does that mean way have over this morning on an average of four thousand per hour, andi so remember we had wass more than sixty thousand that was in the last thirty six hours and half of my building couldn't sleep and they were laughing with me even they don't know didn't know the reason and now I could love but it's some kind of literal love there is no place for a lot here there will be no place for long um so just going back to the idea of impact or lack of impact. So the work that you saw that started with the guy with the tiger who's a paramilitary leader named our khan images following that where his men killing some of the first people in the bosnian war which was the third war at that point everybody knew exactly what was going to happen and those photographs were taken before the war officially began. Photographs were not only taken but were published, I manage get them published in time magazine and perry match all over the world and at that time that the conversation in the world community was the world needs to do something to stop bosnia from happening we need to interview so I said to myself, here is evidence photographic undisputable evidence that this war is going to be brutal it's going to be against civilians and if the world doesn't do anything it's going to start I said to myself three years earlier in panama president bush was still the president united states reacted so off course he's going to react to this work there was absolutely no reaction officially the war kicked off a year later sorry a week the next week four years later several hundred thousand people were killed several billion became refugees still impact to this day lead to another war in kosovo, another war macedonia and it became incredibly frustrating for myself and my colleagues. We went in day in and day out to cover the war in bosnia and watching civilians being killed in the streets, ethnic cleansing where areas were being purified according to nationality, religion and the world was just sort of not paying attention very similar to what's happening has been happening in syria today where you know it's happening, but you kind of turned turn a blind eye and then don't worry about it until the impact starts to affect you like what's happening now with the refugee crisis. And what started to happen was, is we were covering these crisis is and the people themselves, the bosnian people would say to us, you should go home, we don't want you here, there's no point in journalism don't don't tell the world we don't want the world to know, let us deal with this on our own, and so the people that you're that you're trying to document to tell their story, for there to be an impact telling you, leave and many of my colleagues said, you know what, you're right, we're gonna leave not only that more journalists were being killed in that conflict in any other war since world war two, so is extremely dangerous. And so when it came time for me to make that decision I had to really think about what's the point of me being here what's the point of my photography what's going to be the impact because obviously my desire for there to be immediate impact felt point plan failed completely didn't matter nobody cared and so I just sort of think about what are the other purposes of our photography what other lives could have and it struck me like when you go back to the holocaust and you go back to when the leaders of the world were asked why didn't you do anything? The response was oh we didn't do anything because we didn't know so how could we have done anything not only in bosnia but in rwanda and our four three two no three genocides in total that I've covered by us being there by us showing the world what is going on? You do not allow any leader to say we didn't know because it's happening right there in front of you live and in countries where we democratically elect our leaders to speak for us such as the united states and the work is being published daily in the media not only do our leaders don't have the luxury to say we didn't know neither does the public because we didn't know and we just chose not to act we chose not to put pressure we chose we went into the voting booth to not vote for the person that said they would do something or someone saw the photography starts it creates his body of evidence that holds people accountable now of course the people were held accountable are the guy with the tiger and the people who were killing these people and much of the work that you just saw was used in the international war crimes tribunal to convince the political leaders to convince the guy with sorry to convict the president of these different countries there in jail the photography played a large part in that but that's that's not enough it's a it's bigger and photography journalism plays a very very important role in that and so we start to think about impact is also the lack of impact and what it means for us as a collective as humanity like we're seeing these things and we're watching today in europe you're watching syria it's the same it's the same situation what are we doing and are you just sort of say like I'm tired of seeing the same picture so I'm going to ignore it for me when people say like we keep seeing the same picture way of fatigue the results should be like I'm tired so I'm going to look away it should be why am I still seeing the same photographs and reading the same stories year after year? Shouldn't we do something different you know, and in keeping with this idea when we were talking earlier about, you know that we can tell stories in our own home or we can tell stories halfway around the world, we can, we can create work that has monumental impact, like some of what ron and and some of our colleagues have done. You know, I remember the first pictures of the kurds fleeing after the first gulf war in nineteen ninety one trapped on the hillside, and this was before the internet. But they were on the cover of all the news magazines, and within a week president bush created operation provide comfort where the united states and european allies went in and secured this northern section of iraq. And I remember I went there, then tow work on the prison. It was amazing. It was like, wow, this is this this mechanisms really working here, people's lives were being saved, you know, the u s military in the european military's. They're not going in to destroy, they're going in to to protect and preserve. So in the same way, photography and storytelling can have that monumental impact epic in some ways. It also can have an impact on a very singular and personal level. So for instance, this photograph this is from my work in the niger delta this is ah outdoor abattoir slaughterhouse this fourteen year old boys carrying the carcass of a dead goat that is about to be there was just you know, burnt so then it will be brought to the butcher's to be sliced up and sold when this a picture when this picture appeared in national geographic magazine, a woman in upstate new york contacted my studio and said your name was betty you know can I get a copy of the print of this and we're like oh, you know what's this crackpot what? Arabella blah and bows okay, sure center a print six months later she responds she got reached out to us and said I threw my local church in upstate new york I found the church this boy goes to in port harcourt, nigeria and I am now paying for him to go to school so he doesn't have to work in this hellhole it's very powerful, you know and and and what this says to me is that not only are not only is the power of photography and visual storytelling intact but people care and if you can reach them with the right work with the right message you khun you khun push them to act and our this story which appeared in the new york times magazine uh this was in two thousand three I believe and it was in about a story about a woman a mom in dallas who had suffered breast cancer and it was part of a larger project my wife and I were working on about the uninsured uninsured americans which unfortunately is still an issue not as much of one but it's still an issue after this story appeared in the magazine over the next six months she received fifty thousand dollars in donations. So again the impact of this work is riel, it's riel and and and it's and you know, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like but cumulatively with me and ron of on all of our colleagues by continuing to do this work what it has proven to me is you can have a positive impact on the world in this example this is for my work on the kurds in nineteen ninety one this is in a terrorist courtroom in diyarbakir, turkey and um after this picture was published a different kind of reaction happened. The turkish government confiscated all the issues of national geographic closes in nineteen, ninety two and they banned journalists from these courtrooms unfortunately, because of the current actions in turkey, that war has started up again and then of course, this picture by ron so getting kind of bringing up to speak this in the picture he saw briefly in multimedia piece so it's really interesting? One of the amazing things about photography is especially now, but even back in the nineties, it's, like when you send that work out into the public, you don't know what the reaction is going to be. You don't know, who's going to see it. You don't know how they respond to it. That's what's. So incredible about what we do on putting this work out there. So this photograph has had multiple lives in different ways. When the photograph after it fell this sort of galvanized world opinion, the bosnians themselves took this, made this into a into an icon. They used it as a recruiting poster. I am completely out of my hands. People just people mean the comic strips out of it. Artist id interpretations of it. It's. When you drive down the main street in bond sarajevo today, it's on the wall, the museum there's all sorts of really interesting things that happened. I haven't a photographer to photographs, but for me, one of the most interesting things that happened with this photograph that I found out after the war, I met a general, uh, and bosnia was a war fought between serbs and bosnians, primarily and this general was a syrup and when it came time for him to choose what side he wanted to fight on he told me when he saw this photograph that he could not fight on behalf of the serbs so he stayed and helped defend sarajevo which is the capital of bosnia and he was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and one of the reasons was he was attributing it to this photograph when he saw this photograph there was no way that he could fight with them and that's what's so incredible of tarpey I don't know what's going to happen with the photograph and how people are going to interpret it the same thing with this photograph is a photograph of thes three young girls and our forthis is shot you know shot for unicef and they're off looking for firewood you can see there's no trees anywhere she's about to go on a one to two day journey to look for firewood to help uh her family be able to cook food and this photograph has gotten amazing response unicef made it into one of made her like the poster child for dar for amnesty international did the same thing thousands upon thousands of dollars were raised to helped are for based on this photograph print sales and so on and it's really quite quite incredible that the impact that even just like one image uh could have uh this work which is from from the amazon film that you saw this work was shown at the, uh the cop festivals which are the environmental festival or conferences that happen every year and they were shown to the presidents and ministers of different countries and last year peru through pressure not specifically because of the film or because of the photographs but they were part of part of that sort of push rated much of the illegal gold mining camps and shut them down. And so this again how the work that we do plays a role I don't always think it's like he's one photograph changing the world it's very difficult but in conjunction with you as as consumers as activists as educators as students all of us together we can have an impact and then going like similarly to what had just talked about having like kind of immediate impact. So I've done a lot of work for people magazine on stories like this this was a story done on the millennium village project by the economist jeffrey sachs. This isn't malawi uh I found I found this man and his child in a small role clinic his child was very sick from malaria we drove him to the hospital unfortunately he's here you see him bring his kid into the hospital fortunate the child died the next day the photographs were published in story in people magazine and people readers donated several hundred thousand dollars to the project based on that story the same thing. This was a story for people magazine again done on the cholera epidemic after the earthquake in haiti. After the story ran, hundreds of thousands of dollars were donated to doctors without borders to help them continue their anti cholera treatment with camps and and bed that's. And so on. Another story for people magazine, this is a story on a on a single mom and her youngest son, who was basically like the the dad of the household. They were living in a motel, they were running out of money, she lost her job for various reasons, and she was there basically really struggling to live. After this piece ran, a man, gave her a house and give her a job and moved her out of a dangerous neighborhood. Where to this day, she's, having her family are living a successful life. And this was a long, long term story I did on adoption, people on american family, adopting kids after the earthquake in haiti, and after the story ran, all these people were inspired and were to adopt from hating it from other places that kind of demystified the adoption process and was very inspirational for for a lot of people. So, you know, we both have, like these these bigger the's bigger impacts and then we have the singer impacts like this like to make a point a couple of two things that come to mind and listening to us um one is thie importance of um I think this is for all journalism today not just photographers and photo journalism that while we have to point our cameras and and investigate as writers you know the problems of the world oh and uncover that stuff and witness it what we need to do just a cz much or maybe more now is two point two solutions and I really do feel this way both as a human being in consumer as well as a creator of this work because even as a creator I feel that I can't keep on going to places where no matter how amazing or dramatic or interesting it is there is no solution there's no hope you know that it's it's sort of I've watched it erode my sense of wellbeing is as a human being because after all we are also human beings so I feel it's incumbent upon journalist today and photojournalists too of course look for the problems in the world and bear witness to the things that need to be to be a documented but if there's also a way to integrate whether it's individual corporation, a government and ngo I don't really care anyone or anything any organization that is involved in in solutions that is the sort of new part of I think this kind of work we're doing and that believes in the second point which this idea of advocacy work that a lot of this work that we do traditionally we come out of the magazine world where we we do these stories whether we're assigned to them or we do them on our own we the idea is to get them published in the magazines so that we will raise awareness um well that's not good enough anymore for may and so working with ngos and foundations and nonprofits in some cases working with governments it's that's unusual but in some cases maybe even working with corporations again it's unusual but it's also possible the idea is we create this work but we're I'm not an activist I mean in my heart I'm an activist in my dreams I'm an activist but I my main role is to be a visual storyteller and that takes about all the energy that I have, you know, and the brain power that I have but what I want to be able to do is then handed over to people who know how to advocate for change who are working on the solutions and that is such an important point that I hope all all journalist especially young people coming into this profession well we'll think about so that is they developed their careers and their approaches that hopefully at least a few will work in this way because it is damn effective. It really does make a difference the activists, even the unicef, the u n they can't do a lot of the work they do unless they get funding and that funding comes from telling the stories about what's going on out there you know the problems they're trying to solve well it's our job to show that it's their job to get it out there and convince you to support take action, donate whatever it may be teach your children whatever it may be yeah, absolutely. And and so as we mentioned earlier and I are both part of images he called seven it's a small uh collective twenty photographers be all own part of the agency and we all have very common goals. And so we work on these projects together to do exactly what I was just talking about. So one of the first projects we did was about the democratic republic of congo war that started in nineteen ninety eight um had killed more people than any other war since world war two, which almost any nobody really knew what was going on. And so we partnered with doctors without borders one of the best ngos working the field today and it was they wanted us to to be able to help raise awareness for their fundraising for their political lobbying with different groups for them to go to places like intel in apple and say like look what's happening, look what people are dying trying to fight for these minerals for your computers and chips and so on and it was a very successful we had a book, we have a film website exhibitions that traveled around the world and this is sort of the beginning out our for seven kind of working working this way at the time that we did this in two thousand three or so was relatively new way of working now it's a very much more common way working but it's also very, very effective and it is this idea of trying to hit the audience is many different ways as possible. Our audience now is completely fragmented. He used to be before you get time magazine or get your graphic you've hit everybody now you need time in the geographic you need a website you need a book, you need a exhibition, you need street art, you need this, you need that because everybody is looking at things in different ways you need a nap, you need things all the different ways. So instagram social media exactly you have to just keep so while it's a lot more work enables us down to be able to really engage in so many more with so many more people which is really important and then by partnering with people like msf I am see unicef or traditional media like time geographic newsweek or so on he'd be able to start to reach your honest and then there's you know there's also partnering with sort of different groups like art group so like there's a group out of chicago called artworks and seven and myself have done a lot of work with them and they find nontraditional ways to reach audiences so one of the things that they've done and then we did this work with number seven photographers from the congo is that we created these installations and we brought them to congress we brought to the british house of parliament we brought from the government in germany we brought them to multiple places we we helped politicians and acted is testify and to give a visual component there's such there's one thing for somebody to go in front of congress and read and there's another thing for the congress men like they did hear tow walk through this exhibition then go into the hearing and listen to the people testify according to the congressman themselves like senator feingold and I think senator clinton at the time they said that the photography had a huge huge impact so these were like things that normally we weren't doing in the past but now we're doing we're doing is an agency we're doing is individuals and it's incredibly incredibly important and then we're also doing things like, like what you've seen today of creating short films and having campaigned so a few years ago, we created a project with doctors without borders called starved for attention, which was a project to highlight the fact that one hundred ninety five million children around the world are malnourished, not talking about, like, famine like bones sticking out, but kids that are eating, maybe once a day or once every couple days, fainting in class, unable to like function, can't help grow up is a healthy child and the connection between that and food aid. And so this project, which commissioned I think five of us from seven to go into films in different countries, created a visual, a visual, uh, exhibition. And then when they went to testify in the different governments, they use this to help change the laws about food aid. So ronon and I think before we play this video, we'd like to open it up to some general q and a uh, if that works for you, and then we'll play the video, so my goodness there. So so many questions for the tuvia and feel free to grab mike if you'd like, I wanted to start with some questions around impact, a cz we've just been talking about, and and one question that has come in you were talking about in, um, your pictures of sarajevo and how that particular image has been used in so many different places in ways the question was, have you ever had a situation where the story you're trying to tell got changed or morph toe once the pictures were out of your hands? And how do you preserve the integrity of your pieces? It's very difficult, actually speaking about that specific photograph and using something recent is quite amazing to me. So last year, when the war in ukraine was really, like ramping up, a russian blogger took that photograph that I've highlighted for you posted it change the capture said that the guys that were executing the people were ukrainians, the victims were russians and this guy had a huge following and the photograph went viral all over again, but with a completely wrong caption, and it was basically used as propaganda, anti ukrainian propaganda, and there was very little like ugo I put out a statement on the internet, but first of all, russians are not coming to look at my site, and this is this is some of the things that we have to worry about in our new world, and this goes into a whole other conversation about news literacy and how you consume. Images and and how you get them yourselves and how the audience needs to be better educated. But this is this is a really this is a real problem with with a normal kind of distribution, normal magazines, the people that the work is you that I allowed to use it, do it properly with write captions. But now we're in the wild west it's true, but that's, one of the one of the one of the things that seven does is that it it's really committed to upholding that kind of journalistic standard, that excellence, and any time we see that happening, we intervene in whatever way we can as quickly as possible. Question, um, I'm just curious if you have found any advantages to being men and being out in the field versus being woman. And if you have any opinions on ah ha, woman would realistically be able to gain the same access to the places that you have. And if you have any comments on that, well, I mean, I'm going to name names, but I mean, you have lyndsey addario. Stephanie sinclair. Uh oh, my god. Well, alexandra allahu help form the agency. Unfortunately, she passed away into that seven, but some of the greatest photographers working today, our women who are doing some of the gutsiest toughest things now certainly there's certain situations they might not be able to get into but you know what? They're certain situations I can't get into because I'm a man, so I I've really come to feel that and I'd love to hear your view on that as well. Ron, I've really come to feel that gender is not a road block but like anything else it's it's a factor the fact that I'm a tall olive skin guy might impact how I work in a certain situation when I go to nigeria I'm a white man there's no way around it that can help me that can also tremendously hurt me so so I think in the in the course of doing this work it's it's in your mind if you let that like don't you it's it's it's up to you not to let that be a roadblock? But as I say there's some amazing photographer women photographers well, period but there's amazing one of photographers who were doing some of the toughest frontline hard core work today. Yeah, I agree with that without question I think that it's just everybody has their own different factors that enable them to be able to do different things, but at the same time there has to be a realistic look that gender based violence is without question an issue from what happened to lara logan in tahrir square to others including some of the people that we've mentioned that they've had difficult times in different places um so there it's something to be conscious of but it's not something I would have to hear from them but I would I would assume that they would say like it's not stopping them from doing it but it's definitely there definitely issues, but they're also times where especially in the islamic world you'll be able to do things that I'll never be able to do and at times it could help you and other times it could be it could be a detriment great did you ever follow? Oh okay, go ahead how do you balance protecting the safety of your sources with getting enough access so let's say uh you take photographs of your sources, you want to have the biggest impact for the world and improve the world, but you also don't want to jeopardize the safety of your your subjects well, there's that there's two there's two questions in that the first one is in terms of like publication. And so the hope is that you as a responsible photographer when you're photographing people ah and when you're in a situation you're having conversations and people know why you're there and what you're doing and that or if you're not able to have that conversation because the fluidity of the moment that you're making the right judgment and you're not going to have people you know people are not going to be put in danger by your work second part of that is not initially with the photographs were taken, but the conversation that you're had who's watching you have conversations, this all this sort of security has become very, very important and that's part of like what I'm talking about the training that's part of the training, understanding something as simple as like having proper security for your computer, or even your iphone, which as soon as you get stopped or arrested, somebody takes out your phone, and even if you have ah code there like gun to your head, give me your code then all the sudden all your source's heir there so there are really specific ways how we need to deal with protecting people that are trying to help us. And one of the things that's been really horrific that I've witnessed over the course of my career where we go in and we worked with local people as sources as helpers, fixers and so on and then we put them in dangerous situations and we leave and then they're there it's very similar to what's happened like what happened with in afghanistan and iraq with the u s military all these local people are coming and working, we pull out and then we don't give them visas and they're left alone journalists are doing the same thing get to be super super responsible for the people that you're working with because you can always go home and they can't and it's something really to think about it it's not a simple answer but you have to be conscious of it and I would say the principles that guide me on this issue are basically listening to to the people listening to my fixer or you know you know it's not enough just because you let me into your home or you let me photograph you I you might not although people are getting smarter about this because of the internet you might not understand the harm it could do to you if my pictures go out into the world and so as much as I will try to protect you and be respectful and cognisant of the very least aware of the implications I will rely on my fixer my intermediaries to explain to me you know and quite often they will you know but it's but it's an imperfect science you know? And I must say that's one of the things I've come to appreciate working with ngos and foundations because in giving you access to subjects that you otherwise wouldn't get access to we're not as easily they demand even in our contracts a protection of the privacy of on the safety of the subjects in some of the contracts I signed now and and I and I wouldn't have imagined I would do it ten or twenty years ago, I'm happy to do it now they can actually if some circumstance changes got photograph you even though you've signed a contract, a new sign them all release and I have permission to use it but if in a month or a year from now something changes in your life where that having that photograph out in the world could negatively impact you, they can actually contractually force me tio or seven to take that off of out of distribution and I'm okay with that I mean, I never thought I would say that, but I'm okay with that because again it comes down to that thing this is not about me this is not just about serving my needs, my aspirations, my goals it's there's a bigger there's a bigger equation that I'm a part of but it's also because ten or twenty years ago your work was not being distributed all over the world inaccessible in one small village and and one big city at the same time so everything has changed dramatically yeah, I have some anecdotes that come to mind on this so in when I was working in the northern ireland projects away before any of this stuff existed so that we could almost with impunity and we did this we like I could come go to belfast and photograph and not really worry about the you know that you would never see they would never see the pictures I made that might get published well, one of the stories I did about this eighteen year old boy who had grown up under the troubles that name was brian it was published as a cover story in observer magazine in london was called the life of brian and and you know, every time I go back to belfast his granny would greet me and you want a cup of tea ed and all this stuff and so once the story was published the next time I went she didn't even say hello to me and I was like, I was like brian what did I do wrong said he said she was really upset that there was a picture published of my bed unmade how could I know that? Okay, that was nineteen, eighty nine ninety ninety six I'm working on my story about my project about jewish settlers in the west bank and this was one of the first times that the photographer was bitten by the internet and I so I published the work on one of murdoch's first can you remember the name of the online magazine and was also published on salon dot com early early days of this now my pictures air not incriminating but I wrote that I equated the jewish settlers with hamas as obstacles to peace whatever I was just expressing so the next time I showed up in him, bron the leader of the jewish community had a print out of the web page and said you're not welcome here anymore you can't photograph us so it can rub so this was the beginning of where we have to be much more responsible and aware that now anybody and everybody can see the work we do but you know what? That's a that's a positive development because it means it holds us more accountable for the work we do, you know? And I'm not I'm not trying to get I don't want to try to get away with anything sneak into your life, make some picture and then show it to the world you know? No if it embarrasses you, I'm sorry about that but that's not what I'm concerned about what I'm concerned about is some bigger implication that it could put you in danger or could ruin your life in some way but just to follow up on that it's not it's not as good or it's fine, we should actually be held accountable but it's a very serious, very very serious security thing because the most obvious thing that happened was a writer for the new york times in iraq in basra publishing editorial against the local government or militias or something I was in boston when the when the piece came out, everybody was very upset that came over and they killed him and this has changed dramatically what's happening is you're if you're sending for whether it's, instagram or facebook or through traditional media and their controversial images that you're publishing, those people are still there and confined you, you have to be extremely careful and there've been times when like I wasn't the one that did the story, but I just happened to be the next guy with the camera that showed up was also a problem, so these are just more things that we have to like take into account when you're dealing with logistics and infrastructure and how you're distributing your story it's not just about like before where your pictures are going to new york and the guy in rwanda is never going to see them, they're going to see them everybody has a samsung or iphone in their hand and they all have internet it's like there's, great parts about us all being connected and there's some other parts that are not so great to be really be aware of what's going on that's a great point and you know they're times now where I've worked a couple of years ago I was working northern nigeria where boko haram is, you know, very bad situation and I will often from the field a zones I have connection to the internet published on instagram well, in this case I did not publish where I wass you know it's, that kind of thing you have to be really smart about you know because it's it's not so much also hurting people it's the bad guys who want to hurt you or shut what we do down so it's a very it's a much more complex world you know ron is absolutely right some of it is positive but some of it is also made it so much more dangerous and tricky we have so many questions for the two of you I know we're running out of time um thank you for such great questions to our audience into the folks at home I think let's go ahead and play the video that you have for us. So once again these air to projects we did with doctors on porter's on two very important issues that resulted in some serious impact wait tadjikistan is one of the poorest countries in central asia and india. Tb is quite a severe problem until our project status there was no treatment for india tv for children in the treatment for adults was only in some areas ofthe country oh wait the main difficulties in trying to treat the be with children is that the drugs that are available at the moment uh designed mostly for adults and adults prescription is a handful of medicine everyday way have children who are three years old having to take seven or eight tablets every time plus an injection way with family other ones that have to coerce the children every day to take these medications sometimes this is through a form of bribery sometimes it's through force this'll put huge stress on the family and the child for some people inside of fixed arabic problem and the treatment has to be taken for at least eighteen months the negotiation was a child to take medications that makes him feel more sick is very difficult. Bhola and the boorish calories yuna is the most vulnerable area thief number of malnourishment is quite high way ask some others why they're not very much cautious about their child for suffering from malnutrition they often says that they themselves were suffering from an institution they think is several years old condition of health it's a temporary condition wait my e e e e I don't I don't even want bush so these thieves videos I said had a lot of impact with msf using is for lobbying and different governments and some laws were changed on food aid and it was seen around the world and this is again like another example is it was talking about about taking it from from the photography from the visual storytelling to actual action and results because I think that well, when it really comes down to it, like one hundred ninety five month million children suffering from malnutrition is how do you even conceive of that number? It's ridiculous statistic, but looking at one little girl who faints in class because she's only eating three times a week and with her little red lipstick and she's very pretty and she's, well spoken and then all of sudden humanizes a very important issue and that's one of the great strengths of of what we do well, like I said, um, ed, in iran, we have so many amazing questions I've been saying all along that there are a lot of people requesting that we have more classes like this with you. Yeah, that are much longer in depth, and so we are very excited to announce a brand new partnership with creative live and seven photo agency that we are thrilled we don't have anything there's nothing that you could go sign up for quite yet, but they're already in the works. And so maybe you guys could talk a little bit about what you are planning on, and really everyone stay tuned because they will be coming back not just the two of you but mohr educators and amazing photographers from seven agency so thank you so much you think the goal is to have seven seven of these no uh in the next six months or so I think the one with ashley gilbertson on street photography november that's that one is confirmed but don't don't shoot me farmers started starting in november room and then heading through the right and I will be doing something on mobile photography um uh ron you're goingto my class is called a survival tool kit so it's basically going to be more in depth of the stuff that we were talking about today everything that has everything but taking the photograph so everything from preparation to research teo marketing to setting up your studio to working the field all these different things it's ah it's classic ed said he wanted to take it some points so it's a it's a it's a pretty valuable they were too old to learn there's a lot there's a lot of information and and so I have a lot of just just the other day I had a student come up to me and thanked me for stuff that he learned that he just used in the field and they'll have danny wilcox razor is going to be coming in doing ah workshop about shooting in your community and then we have a number of other really great workshops with members of seven through through next year so hopefully you guys will be able to come and attend I think it's going to be incredibly valuable I mean as we said education is incredibly important to us we really are committed to making sure that the next generation of photographers visual storytellers have the best tools possible whether you're going to be a professional or you want to tell stories in your backyard there's a lot to learn and I think we have a pretty good record of teaching it well so hopefully you'll be able to join us and it's a critical time because the world is changing so rapidly that that that you know standards and methods that existed even just three or four years ago they're not either they're outdated or they're being you served by buy something new and we tend to stay on the cutting edge or close to it off these things because that's also how you survive and how you reinvent yourself so we are we are I believe in well positioned to to bestow this knowledge in this experience that is very current that that even is forward looking so too close we'd like to share with you what we call our sort of sizzler real and this is ah that is not necessarily a best of but it's just a really cool thing that sizzle reel sizzler it's a sizzler like the steak house no no don't get a suit now and actually this was put together by talking eyes media which is the nonprofit production house that my wife runs julia knockers so really proud to share this with you wait wait e way wait just a little bit about us really truly powerful powerful work that you do and once again we're so honored to have you here duty any final thoughts it's for folks who are wondering perhaps where the industry is going as everything is changing so so quickly I think it's you know the cord is really like to be passionate about what you're doing to think outside the box be smart and if you do those things you really can go anywhere it is actually limitless now because of all the tools that are that are at our feet and the people that are really being smart not thinking but the way things used to be but thinking forward they're doing incredibly well and you'll be able to tell stories reach people and have impact I think it's also really important that you know because things are changing so rapidly and it feels like every week every month there's some new platform some new device whatever it may be is that you know ultimately what matters is what's in your head and your heart and in your gut and I know that might sound cliche but it's really, really true so whatever tool you use to to capture these powers and this passion and commitment and dedication you have whatever that may be you could shoot on a roll of flex with film or you can shoot with a with a smartphone or whatever, or but it's these, these qualities that you need to be guided by, then the rest will work for you. So thank you so much. Just make sure you develop the film through my goodness. Thank you so, so much for being here with us on creative. I've and folks at home are very ex cited to hear the news that you and your colleagues at seven are going to be coming back. So once again, you have not only reminded so many of us, of of what we do as photographers, but I have to say, you've also reminded those of us here, creative, live of why we do what we dio in the world of photography, education. So thank you so much.

Class Description

VII Photo Agency represents 19 of the world’s most preeminent photojournalists whose careers span 35 years of world history. In this special session, Ron Haviv and Ed Kashi from VII will talk about what inspires and motivates them.

VII is comprised of select group of professional photojournalists who share a commitment to compassionately documenting the people and the world around them. In Visual Storytelling: Why We Shoot, Ron and Ed will discuss how they use their cameras to try to affect change and the importance of bearing witness and broadcasting the work.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join in a candid conversation about the work of photojournalists and the importance of shooting with integrity and honesty.  



I've watched a number of courses on creativelive, presented by some of the most talented professionals in the photography industry, covering a variety of disciplines, but this class above all others touched my creative nerve like none have before and perhaps ever will. This is a true masterclass in the power of visual storytelling. Ed and Ron's career, passion, and dedication to their craft, explained in rich and raw detail, is inspiration enough to consider changing your entire photography approach, let alone viewing their stellar bodies of published work in their various forms. I learned as much about the value of my own storytelling instincts and reasons for picking up a camera as I did theirs. Whether you're planning long-term personal projects or simply looking for inspiration in your methods and approaches, do yourself the favor of a lifetime and watch this class. You won't regret it.


I was deeply impacted by this class! I was moved to my core by their dedication to not just telling a story visually, but to giving a VOICE to those who aren't able to have a voice otherwise. A huge thank you to Ron and Haviv for sharing a little of their lives, their obvious passion, their talent, and their wisdom!!! I would also highly recommend this course to anyone interested in photojournalism or anyone who really wants to tell a story with any photo they take and share with others. I am looking forward to other classes by Ron and Haviv and the XII team!

a Creativelive Student

A fantastic "inside" look at the reality of what's going on in the world, and a reminder of our responsibility to be thoughtful about how we behave when traveling the world and how we capture and share what we see. I've traveled to and/or lived in 44 countries and take a lot of photos - I learned a lot from this program and recommend it to anyone considering a career in photo journalism, as well as those who will be capturing the world's events - and most importantly, human beings. Thanks to both of you gentleman for sharing your experience and for enabling us with the knowledge you shared. Stephanie Hackney (