We now face “A Human Emergency” that’s right before our eyes yet difficult to see.
Jeff’s mission as a television host, explorer and artist is identical to his mission as an emergency physician: to help people find the strength within to face immediate danger and chart a path to safety. What keeps us human keeps us safe. Hope lies in rediscovering the confidence, clarity and courage which brought us together on 9-11.
We live on a new frontier of human nature. We must learn to ask questions we’ve forgotten how to ask about how the overwhelming scale of life in modern cities and the dehumanizing affects of technology undermine confidence and the self-protective instincts that keep us safe in a time of terror.
Jeff’s career as an explorer and artist began on a bleak December day in 1995 at the former Nazi concentration camp Plazow, just outside Cracow, Poland. Acting on a hunch while visiting a memorial near the camp’s entrance, he climbed a nearby hill in knee deep snow. Approaching the top, a barbed wire fence came into view surrounding a Nazi-era compound: an abandoned building with prison-bar windows next to a set of ovens, ashes still present. In the dim light and silence, Jeff experienced a strong sense that unspeakable acts of barbarism had occurred here. Guided by intuition, he began photographing what he felt… the same method he uses today.
Since that day, he’s been on a quest to understand why terrorism continues and where hope lies in a time of terror. Exploring sites across Poland, Belgium, France, Moldova, Ukraine, Transnistria and Romania where millions of innocents have been slaughtered in modern times, he’s found a common thread that links mass murder during the Holocaust to terrorism today: a moral crisis caused by the dehumanizing scale of technology and the pace of life in modern cities.
The inhuman scale of modern life cuts us off from nature, from human nature and from each other. Scale confuses our moral compass and encourages us to question the very existence of our moral core. Scale blurs the line between what’s human and what’s not. Jeff’s goal is to inspire belief in a future where we find hope in the human decency and courage of ordinary people and find safety in embracing human nature for what it is…permanently imperfect…with the potential for extraordinary goodness and unfathomable evil.
Jeff’s work has been featured around the world, most recently as the only living artist in “Artist Soldiers”, an 18 month exhibition now on display at The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the world’s most visited museum. A concurrent solo exhibition at the Museum of History and Art in Sainte-Menehould, France runs through November 26th, 2017.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, NPR, The BBC, USA Today, US News & World Report, Arte, The CBC, Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, The Daily Mail and the Huffington Post have all covered Jeff’s discoveries and photographs.
Jeff is a television producer and the author of three books. With his production partner Lone Wolf Media, he produced ‘Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI’ which premiered on the Smithsonian Channel in March 2017. Jeff is also an assignment photographer for The New York Times.
Jeff graduated near the top of his class at one of America’s top ten medical schools, The University of Washington School of Medicine. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Medical Society and is a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians. For over 25 years, Jeff has taught trauma care as an instructor in the Advanced Trauma Life Support program administered by the American College of Surgeons.