Author Archives: Ed Kashi

Imperfectly Invisible

For those contemplating the life of a photojournalist, beware the personal challenges and questions that await you. I have spent a lifetime trying to become invisible. As a documentarian my goal is to disappear, to observe without disturbing the world I’m trying to capture. It is obviously impossible to actually achieve this, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. Disappearing into the background is an effective strategy to bear witness to moments that would otherwise be inaccessible. Candid intimacy is the term I’ve used to describe my work, and my vanishing into nothingness is the imperative.

People congregate at the Gare St. Charles, the main train station in Marseille, France on Sept.24, 2010.

People congregate at the Gare St. Charles – the main train station in Marseille, France on Sept. 24, 2010. Photo ©Ed Kashi/VII

But what happens when you become so expert at this that you begin to disappear in your own life? After more than 30 years of perfecting this routine in my work I am now confronting the residual impact on my personal life. It’s as though I am nothing without my work. Over the last three decades my energy has been channelled into forging my identity as a documentarian, in the process becoming very good at slipping into the mentality that has led …

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Nicaragua Unbound

My first time visiting Managua, Nicaragua in 1983 was only my second trip to a country in the developing world. I traveled with a group of American doctors from San Francisco who were going down to provide medical support to the newly victorious Sandinista government, which had overthrown the dictator, Anastasio Somoza, in 1979.  When I arrived, I was greeted by an energy that I had never felt before or since. There was a palpable joy in the air, a feeling that the people had actually freed their country and regained control of their destiny. Tragically, that was a short lived dream, mainly due to the cold war proxy fight that the Reagan administration prosecuted through the illegal Iran/Contra affair. Basically the Reagan administration covertly sold arms to Iran, and the money the CIA received was used as a slush fund to support the Contra rebels, who were fighting the Sandanistas. What transpired was a protracted conflict throughout much of the 1980’s. Whether the Sandinistas would have ever made good on their promises, it’s impossible to know given the drain on their energy, treasury, and good will, in having to fight a tough war against US-backed rebels. Here is an …

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PDN Storytellers

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The winners of the PDN Storytellers contest have been announced. This new photo contest “provides a platform for narrative photography, from documentarians bringing important context to contemporary history, to photographers finding interesting stories to tell in their own backyard.”   Among the winners two Talking Eyes Media (TEM) films were awarded in the multimedia category. Both of the winning films, “Notes for My Homeland” and “We Came and Stayed”, are part of the ongoing collaborative project between VII Photo Agency, Rutgers University – Newark and TEM, called Newest Americans. Newest Americans is  “a multimedia collaboratory of journalists, media-makers, artists, faculty and students telling the stories that radiate from the most diverse university in the nation. Based in Newark, NJ, a city shaped by migration, our project affords a glimpse into the world of the newest Americans and a vision of our demographic future.”
Malek Jandeli posterframe 2

Photo by Ed Kashi/VII


  “Notes for My Homeland” by Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi (VII), is a short film about Malek Jandali. “In response to the tragedies wrought by the Assad regime, Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali writes music that unites people, performing it at great personal risk.”
Photo by Ashley Gilbertson/VII

Photo by Ashley Gilbertson/VII



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National Geographic Smartphone Photo Workshops

In 2016, Ed Kashi will be teaching two National Geographic Photo Expedition Workshops on the subject of Smartphone Photography in New York City. The course dates will be June 4th & 5th, and October 29th & 30th. Registration is now open for both sections of this two-day expedition!


This workshop is designed for amateurs who seek to effectively use and share mobile imagery and are interested in exploring the creative side of smartphone photography. The first day of the workshop will cover fundamental technical skills for making great smartphone images, composition and creative seeing, and the elements that make a powerful image. There will also be two shooting sessions on day one in High Line Park and Times Square. The second day will highlight storytelling with your camera, post-processing apps, and social media’s impact on photography, along with a shooting session in Central Park and closing group dinner.


The workshop tuition is $995, (or with 2 night hotel $1585). See more information, the full itinerary and how to register here:


The post National Geographic Smartphone Photo Workshops appeared first on Ed Kashi.

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Photo Aesthetics Interview, Palo Alto Workshop


©Ed Kashi/VII


You can click here (or visit the link below) to read a piece about an interview Ed did with Mark Dubovoy of Photo Aesthetics. Photo Aesthetics is a website that focuses on exploring creative and technical aspects of photography. They produce and curate excellent photographic content and provide interesting insights. This interview examines Ed’s style of visual storytelling as well as his background and past works. It is part of the lead-up to the Photojournalism and Advocacy workshop that Ed will be teaching in Palo Alto, California on March 25th. It will be moderated by Geri Migielicz and followed by a Q&A as well as a book signing. Tickets are still available and you can go here to find them.


Photo Aesthetics interview:

Palo Alto Photography Forum Lecture Series:

The post Photo Aesthetics Interview & Palo Alto Workshop appeared first on Ed Kashi.

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Maroko Evictions Trial

“In old Maroko everybody live according to their standard. You see most problems that are confronting people here today education, no schools, no good roads, no better housing, no where children can go to have their play or have their meal there.”

Maroko Evictions
In July 1990, more than 300,000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes in the town of Maroko, Lagos State, Nigeria to shanty housing in an area with no schools, no water, no reliable roads, and no stable housing. Over the last 25 years, the Maroko community has sought recognition of and remedies to address the serious violations of domestic and international law that took place during the eviction and since. In 2008, the Maroko community, with the assistance of the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC), filed a case before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This important case is finally due to be heard this month in Banjul, The Gambia.

Since members of the Maroko community are unable to travel to the hearing, the New Media Advocacy Project and SERAC have produced a short 6 minute film including interviews with a number of those evicted back in 1990, which documents their struggle over …

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