Outreach Spotlight: 2019 CatchLight Visual Storytelling Summit

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2019 CatchLight Visual Storytelling Summit


The 2019 CatchLight Visual Storytelling Summit, was an immersive day of conversation, inspiration and community. The event began with photographers sharing their work in portfolio reviews with photo editors from media and tech organizations, museum curators and gallery owners.

The reviews were followed by a series of presentations and conversations with some of the leading voices in visual storytelling. Formerly imprisoned Bangladeshi photographer and one of Time’s Persons of the Year, Shahidul Alam, recounted his path from photographer to human rights activist and freedom of the press leader; Aida Muluneh, Ethiopian photographer, contemporary artist and founder of Addis Foto Fest on upending the foreign gaze and mentoring the next generation of photographers from Africa; Andrea Bruce, National Geographic photographer and founder of Our Democracy Project on combining photography, education and community engagement following Alexis de Tocqueville’s route across the United States asking the question “What does democracy look like today?”. 

Conversations included Guggenheim fellow and filmmaker Carlos Javier Ortiz and Robert J. Rosenthal from the Center for Investigative Reporting discussing community relations in Sacramento through documentary filmmaking, investigative journalism and scholarship in the wake of events in Ferguson and the future of visual storytelling in the digital age with Anna Dickson, visual lead at Google Image Search, Joel Flory, CEO of VSCO and Benjamin Petit, Co-Director of #Dysturb.

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Many thanks to Catchlight for facilitating our interviews with Shahidul Alam, Aida Muluneh and Tasneem Alsultan.


Presentations and Panels

Presentation: Andrea Bruce – Our Democracy

Presentation: Aida Muluneh – Raising Photography Voices

Panel: Offline & Online: Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age

Discussion: The Ferguson Effect? Carlos Javier Ortiz in conversation with Robert J. Rosenthal