Nichole Sobecki on Self-Care

Nichole Sobecki: On Self-Care

Award-winning photojournalist Nichole Sobecki has been on assignment in conflict zones around the world, bearing witness to a variety of difficult situations and harrowing events. We sat down for a conversation with Sobecki at the 2019 Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, and in this video, she describes some of the techniques and practices she has developed to deal with the trauma that comes along with such work in healthy and productive ways.

Born in 1986, USA. Nichole Sobecki is a photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented internationally by the photo agency VII.

Nichole was born in the state of New York and graduated from Tufts University with a degree in political science. She began her career in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, focusing on regional issues related to identity, conflict, and human rights. From 2012-2015 Nichole led Agence France-Presse’s East Africa video bureau before immersing herself in documentary photography. She is also a contributor to Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, and an attempt to showcase the moments missing from dramatic news images — everyday life that is neither idealized nor debased. 

Nichole aims to create photographs and films that demand consideration for the lives of those represented – their joys, challenges, and ultimately their humanity. Amidst our fractured present existence, she believes that a well-told story can cut through the noise, deepen empathy, and inspire a more conscious world.

The primary focus of Nichole’s work is on humanity’s fraught, intimate, and ultimately unbreakable connection to the natural world. In 2016 Nichole began her body of work entitled A Climate for Conflict, supported by The GroundTruth Project, which investigates the human consequences of significant environmental change in Somalia. She is currently exploring the impact of rising temperatures across Africa, the world's youngest continent and also the most vulnerable to a changing climate. As climate change advances, sustained photography must illuminate the complex and multifaceted problems underway, evoke the power and beauty of the world we share, and remind us all of our collective responsibility to fix what we have broken.

In 2015 Nichole was a Rory Peck Awards News Finalist for her coverage of the Westgate mall attacks in Kenya. In 2018 she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights prize in new media for her images documenting Europe's response to the African migration crisis. Her work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year, the One World Media Awards, the Alexandra Boulat Award for Photojournalism, The Magenta Foundation, and The Jacob Burns Film Center, among others. 

Nichole’s photography has been exhibited at The United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, Photoville in Brooklyn, The Nikola Rukaj Gallery in Toronto, and beyond. She is a passionate teacher, workshop leader and speaker.


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Nichole Sobecki: On Research

At the 2019 Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, we sat down for a conversation with Foundry instructor and award-winning photojournalist Nichole Sobecki, who gave us insight into the importance of research to her success as a visual journalist.


Related Links:

VII Photo Stories: A Climate for Conflict


National Geographic: Intimate photos show families adapting to a world changed by coronavirus


Tufts Now: Tell Me More - Photojournalist in the War Zones

National Geographic: How photographers capture a world besieged by infectious diseases


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