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 Eschwalu, Sarah Waiswa, and Andrew Esiebo all live and work on the African continent. Ron Haviv, Kristen Ashburn, and Krisanne Johnson are flying in from the USA, with Finbarr O’Reilly and Daniel Schwartz joining Foundry from Europe.
Kristen Ashburn is an Emmy nominated documentary photographer whose career has focused on humanitarian issues with a long-term focus on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been recognized by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International and the Best of Photojournalism. She is a recipient of the Canon Female Photojournalist Award, the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography and the John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club of America. In 2009, she published a book of her work on HIV/AIDS entitled I Am Because We Are with a forward by Madonna. Ashburn is also one of the directors of Through the Eyes of Children, a charity that teaches photography to vulnerable children around the world. She splits her time between New York City and Miami with her husband and daughter and is represented by Contact Press Images.
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.
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.
Finbarr O'Reilly is an independent photographer and the author of Shooting Ghosts, A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Penguin Random House). Finbarr was based for twelve years in West and Central Africa for Reuters and has covered conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Libya, Gaza, and elsewhere. He has held academic fellowships at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia University and is a board member of ACOS Alliance, an organization working to embed a culture of safety across newsrooms and among freelance and local journalists worldwide. He won the 2006 World Press Photo of the Year Award and earned First Place in the Portraits category at the 2019 World Press Photo Awards. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The transportive images captivate with a fascination of the natural world and ideals of beauty. 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. Claire earned a place on Forbes “30 under 30” list for Art & Design two years consecutively. 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.
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.