Our teachers are some of the world’s most influential photographers and visual journalists. This year they come from three continents, and offer perspectives gained from long experience working internationally. Nichole Sobecki, Edward Echwalu, Mariella Furrer, Sarah Waiswa, and Andrew Esiebo all live and work on the African continent. Ron Haviv and Krisanne Johnson are flying in from the USA, with Daniel Schwartz joining Foundry from Europe.
Please note that our instructors and presenters are subject to change.
Sarah Waiswa is a Ugandan photographer, living and working between Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. A storyteller, Sarah’s work focuses on identity (particularly New African Identity) and explores themes surrounding isolation and belonging. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, she hopes to challenge the gaze of the viewer by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation. Her works often appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Her work has been exhibited around the world, most recently at the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam and also part of the group show "African Mētrópolis. An Imaginary city" at the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome.
Edward Echwalu is a documentary photographer and professional photojournalist with a wealth of experience spanning a decade, having worked across the African continent. He is part of a collection of photographers curating the social media platform Everyday Africa to reshape the image of Africa, which has culminated in a book with numerous exhibitions across the world. In 2019, Edward co-curated and co-exhibited at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade, Serbia on everyday life in East Africa. He emerged the 1st Runner Up in the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards 2012 (Muhammed Amin Photographic Award) for his coverage of opposition protests (Walk to Work). Edward holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication with a major in photojournalism and is a member of the Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa and Foreign Correspondents Association of Uganda.
Andrew Esiebo is a visual storyteller whose photography career started by chronicling the rapid development of urban Nigeria as well as the country's rich culture and heritage. As Andrew progressed with his career, he started to explore new creative territory, integrating multimedia practice with the investigation of themes such as sexuality, gender politics, football, popular culture, migration, religion and spirituality. In 2010, he was selected for the Road to twenty ten project to form an All-Africa Dream Team of 16 journalists / Photographers to provide alternative stories from the World Cup in South Africa. He was the Winner of the Visa Pour La Creation Prize of the Institut Francias, France and the Musee du Quai Branly Artistic creation prize. He is based in Nigeria from where he works around the world.
Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated and award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Agency, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. Haviv has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague. President George H.W. Bush cited Haviv’s chilling photographs documenting paramilitary violence in Panama as one of the reasons for the 1989 American intervention. He is now based in New York City, USA.
Daniel Schwartz graduated from Zurich School of Arts and Craft (now Zurich University of the Arts) in 1980. One of the internationally most renowned photographers of his generation, he concentrates on book projects, with exhibitions, based on extensive travels, photographic essays, and reportages. Schwartz’ photographic work defies categorization. He moves between the realms of culturally and historically important topographies and current conflict zones, between reportage, the photographic essay and conceptual art. He travelled along the entire Great Wall of China (1987-1988), documented the condition humain in the Delta regions of Asia (1991-1995) and the war in Afghanistan and beyond (1998-2018). His long-term projects were published as monographs by Thames & Hudson, among them Travelling through the Eye of History (2009) and While the Fires Burn. A Glacier Odyssey (2017). In 2017 he joined VII Photo Agency.
Nichole Sobecki is a photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented internationally by VII Photo Agency. From 2012-2015 Nichole led Agence France-Presse’s East Africa video bureau, and was a Rory Peck Awards News Finalist for her coverage of the Westgate mall attacks in Kenya. In 2018 she was awarded by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights prize in new media for her images documenting Europe’s response to the the African migration crisis. She is 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. She is a passionate teacher, workshop leader and speaker.
Krisanne Johnson grew up in Xenia, Ohio. She graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and pursued postgraduate work in visual communications at Ohio University. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Since 2006, Krisanne has been working on long-term personal projects about young women and HIV/AIDS in Swaziland and post-apartheid youth culture. Her work has been recognized by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, and the Best of Photojournalism. She has received the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, and support from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund. She is represented by Prospekt Photo Agency in Milan, Italy.
Mariella Furrer is a Swiss/Lebanese social documentary photographer, who studied at the International Center of Photography, NYC, and has lived most of her life in Kenya. She is the author of award winning book, My Piece of Sky: Stories of Child Sexual Abuse. The book, which presents over 600 pages, is a collection of photographs, interviews, artwork, journals and poetry about child sexual abuse. She is also the recipient of multiple grants and awards, and is one of three photographers featured in “Beyond Assignment”, a documentary produced by The Knight Center for International Media and the University of Miami, USA, 2011. Mariella has given talks about her work on child sexual abuse, internationally, including TEDxJohannesburg - Decoding Greatness, 2018, and has been interviewed about this work by various TV programmes, and news publications, including Christiane Amanpour, CNN, BBC, O Magazine among others. Mariella can communicate in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili.
Our local guest portfolio reviewers.
Students will have the opportunity to have their work additionally reviewed by other instructors or leaders in the local photographic industry. Guest portfolio reviewers include:
Co-Founder and Director, Visual Content | Illume Creative Studio
Philippe Nyirimihigo Before moving back to his native country of Rwanda, Philippe was based in Toronto, Canada as a freelance photographer where he had spent 10 years studying and working. Having had his work featured in local magazines, covering many fashion shows and working with a few renowned photographers in Toronto’s high-end fashion industry, Philippe decided to relocate to Rwanda to rediscover his country and his continent and to contribute to an ever-growing creative industry. As Co- Founder of and Director of Visual Content for Illume Creative Studio, Philippe has taken the role of expanding the video and photography aspect of the business while pushing the art of photography to new levels. His work has taken him around the country and region and provided him with the opportunity to visually translate projects into content. Philippe’s first publication is only the beginning of what he hopes is a lifelong journey of discovering and rediscovering Africa and having the world fall in love with the continent through his photography.
Photographer | RwandAnziza
Nayituriki Seraphin also known as Serrah Galos is a young Rwandan photographer with a passion for showing the transcendent beauty of people in Rwanda. He shares stories of impact while working as a photographer alongside many nonprofits. He has worked with local and international organizations to tell the redemptive stories of Rwandan people. Some of the organizations he has worked with include: Africa New Life, Women for Women international, World Resource Institute, OneTREEplanted, Help a child, Comic Relief, Sageview Foundation and many more. His work has been published in the Smithsonian museum and Wired Magazine.
Founder and Director | Kigali Center for Photography
Jacques NKINZINGABO is a self-taught Photographer, Visual storyteller and Director of the Kigali Center for Photography (a center that he created to support photography in Rwanda through Creating more Photography activities including Education Programs, trainings, Establishing the work of Rwandan and International photographers through exhibitions and creating opportunities to it’s all members).
His work focuses on personal experiences, cultural diversity, identity issues, migration and memories. And his work has been exhibited Worldwide, From Kigali to New York, New Delhi- India , Bogota-Colombia, Paris- France , Germany , Hungary and have participated in different group Exhibitions . His recent project “ I am Survivor “ was appointed to be part of the National Museum and Colonial Museum of Bogota, Colombia .
He has been commissioned by The New York Times, Washington Post, AFP, Wall Street Journal, Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Trust, WaterAid UK, UNICEF, OXFAM, The Global Fund, and many more
Gaël Vande Weghe
Co-Founder and CEO | Illume Creative Studio
Gaël Ruboneka Vande Weghe is a scientist, entrepreneur and an artist. He grew up in Rwanda, but lived in Burundi, Uganda, Gabon, and visited many other countries of the region. He is a child of Central Africa and spent his childhood in Akagera National Park. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Illume Creative Studio in Kigali.
Founder and Director | Envision Rwanda
Peter Lee is a media producer, educator, and art curator who is founder and director of Envision Rwanda- a media arts collective based in Kigali, Rwanda. Envision is a multimedia studio, art gallery, and co-working space whose mission is to promote the creative arts in Rwanda by providing opportunities and resources for emerging local artists to develop their talents into successful careers.
In 2015, Peter moved from San Francisco to Rwanda to accept a job teaching photography and video production to high school students at The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village- a holistic living community for orphaned and vulnerable Rwandan teenagers. Here is where he created a media center and program which provided cameras, computers, and training for hundreds of students to develop their talents. After two years working in the village, he decided to take his passion for youth development in the arts to Kigali where graduates and other developing artists could benefit from a multimedia co-working space.
In April 2018, Envision Rwanda was founded and today the collective supports around 30 different artists including photographers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors, and other creatives. In May 2019, the collective recently hosted its first international art exhibition “Rwanda Retold- A Multimedia Art Exhibition 25 years after the Genocide” in New York City.
Our guest presenters.
Our special guests give presentations and lectures on various topics to educate all Foundry participants.
Suzie Katz is a photographer, speaker, educator, producer, and is giving back to the world that has given her so much by creating and running an educational non-profit organization called PhotoWings. Their mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. They help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved. Through PhotoWings, Suzie concentrates on bringing the photos, knowledge and skills gained through photography to the world across generations, cultures, and disciplines. To document and more richly utilize their legacy, PhotoWings has created, along with many innovative partners, 100’s of hours of interviews, presentations, and other educational content incorporating these ideas for replication, adaptation, or inspiration.
Claire Rosen is an award-winning artist whose elaborate constructions often feature anthropomorphic animals, archetypal heroines, or symbolic still-lives evoking the aesthetics of classical painting. Claire earned a place on Forbes “30 under 30” list for Art & Design two years consecutively. Her work has also received recognition from Communication Arts, IPA, Graphis, PDN, People’s Choice Photoville Fence, and PX3 and has been featured in Creative Quarterly Journal, Der Greif, Fast &Co, featureShoot, The Guardian, NPR, National Geographic, Refinery29, Slate Magazine, and The Washington Post. The vivid storytelling throughout Claire's work has enabled her to construct unique creative campaigns and installations for a wide range of commercial brands bridging the gap between fine art and commercial work. In addition, Claire speaks about the creative process around the world with a book on the subject, IMAGINARIUM: The Process Behind the Pictures. Claire is a brand ambassador for FujiFilm US and Hahnemühle USA.
Jean Bizimana is a photographer who first picked up a camera at the young age of eight thanks to the organization, Through the Eyes of Children. His photographs were seen around the world, and their sales helped to fund the completion of his education in a time when many people his age had little hope of future success. Through his photography, he has become a prominent voice of his community, shining a light on problems the local people face in their everyday lives. Currently, Jean is a photojournalist with Reuters News Agency and a film fellow with The GroundTruth Project working on documentary films.
For more information about instructors from previous Foundry events, please visit PhotoWings. They have photos, interviews, evening presentations, and Lessons In The Field content from each year.