Visiting Photographer: Larry Towell
Camera as Catalyst
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016
Photojournalists play a key role in visual expression of public media and information. They provide storytelling through intimate and profound still images. The Center for Social Media and the School of Communication welcome Magnum Photographer Larry Towell to our Camera As Catalyst series - also a FotoWeek DC event.
If there's one theme that connects all my work, I think it's that of land-lessness; how land makes people into who they are and what happens to them when they lose it and thus lose their identities. ~Larry Towell
From Larry Towell's Website:
Larry Towell’s business card reads ‘Human Being’. Experience as a poet and a folk musician has done much to shape his personal style. The son of a car repairman, Towell grew up in a large family in rural Ontario. During studies in visual arts at Toronto’s York University, he was given a camera and taught how to process black and white film.
A stint of volunteer work in Calcutta in 1976 provoked Towell to photograph and write. Back in Canada, he taught folk music to support himself and his family. In 1984 he became a freelance photographer and writer focusing on the dispossessed, exile and peasant rebellion. He completed projects on the Nicaraguan Contra war, on the relatives of the disappeared in Guatemala, and on American Vietnam War veterans who had returned to Vietnam to rebuild the country. His first published magazine essay, ‘Paradise Lost’, exposed the ecological consequences of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. He became a Magnum nominee in 1988, and a full member in 1993.
In 1996 Towell completed a project based on ten years of reportage in El Salvador, followed the next year by a major book on the Palestinians. His fascination with landlessness also led him to the Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, an eleven-year project completed in 2000. With the help of the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, he finished a second highly acclaimed book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2005, and in 2008 released the award-winning The World From My Front Porch, a project on his own family in rural Ontario where he sharecrops a 75 acre farm.
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