War and Representation is a panel presented by MFA Photography, Video and Related Media which features distinguished photographers and journalists Rita Leistner, Sebastian Mayer and Brian Palmer. They will be presenting work and discussing the past, present and future of documenting the events and changes in the Middle East. An open forum will follow for discussion and debate. This event is open to the public. September 13th, 4pm - 6pm, SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
Metrography, the first Iraqi photo agency, was founded in 2009 by Iraqi photographer Kamaran Najm and American photojournalist Sebastian Meyer who shared the idea that great photojournalism comes from concerned and dedicated photographers, irrespective of their nationality. Over the past six years the agency’s photographers have documented their country with an unrivaled subtlety and sophistication.Their work has been published in numerous leading international publications—Vanity Fair,Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, etc.—and has been exhibited across Europe and the US.
Brian Palmer is an independent visual journalist living in Richmond, VA, where he is producing Make the Ground Talk, with Erin Hollaway Palmer, a documentary that evokes life in a historic black community that was uprooted during World War II to build a naval base, now a top-secret U.S. military/CIA installation. He began his career at the Village Voice. Before going freelance in 2002, Palmer served in a number of staff jobs—photographer, assistant editor, Beijing bureau Chief (US News & World Report); writer (Fortune); correspondent (CNN). Palmer has contributed video to PBS and MTV News & Docs and written for Huffington Post, ColorLines, TheRoot, Pixel Press, and other outlets. His photos have appeared in the New York Times, W&M magazine, Fortune, Politiken, Die Zeit, and others. Palmer was awarded a Ford Foundation grant for Full Disclosure, a documentary about his three embeds in Iraq with U.S. Marines. Currently, he is serving as a scholar in residence at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Academic Learning Transformation Lab. He will be a visiting professor at Columbia Journalism School for the spring 2016 semester.
Award-winning photographer, writer and educator Rita Leistner’s varied career has taken her from academia to war and back again, intersecting the genres of art, photojournalism and literary criticism. She is a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York and has a Master of Arts degree in comparative literature from the University of Toronto where she teaches the history of photojournalism and documentary photography. Her recent book, Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan, was shortlisted for the 2015 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. She is co-author of several other books including Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq and The Edward Curtis Project: A Modern Picture Story. Her photography has been exhibited and published internationally and her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and books. Rita Leistner is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery. She has also planted over a million trees in Canada.
Photo Credit: Zmnako Ismael/Metrography, Runak Bapir Gherib (14) makes her way down Mt. Sinjar after escaping from ISIS with her family, August 12, 2014