About

© UNRWA

About

The United Nations supported project – Photography 4 Humanity is an international initiative that calls on photographers around the world to bring to life the power of human rights through their images. Highlighting the most compelling imagery — illustrating courage, despair, hope, injustice, hate, compassion, human rights failures or victories in ways small and large, the images will serve to inspire people to personally get involved and take a stand for human rights.
Photography 4 Humanity is a unique call to action for amateur and professional photographers alike, to submit images for a global competition where photos from the Top 10 finalists each year will be exhibited at the General Assembly Gallery at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on UN Human Rights Day – December 10th.

The Need

A picture is worth a thousand words, but what happens when there are limited outlets to see them? In the shrinking world of print media, Photography 4 Humanity will provide essential assistance by creating a new digital platform where these important images can be seen and shared – inspiring people to action.
© Alexandros Avramidis – Greece/Macedonia Border

Kristen Ashburn

Kristen Ashburn is a documentary photographer who has received numerous honors including a nomination for the 28th Annual Emmy Awards (2007) for BLOODLINE, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism (2007, 2006, 2003), the John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club of America (2006) and two World Press Photo prizes (2005, 2003). Ashburn was awarded the Getty Grant in 2006, Canon’s Female Photojournalist Award in 2004, and the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography in 2003. Her work has appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Life, Rolling Stones and The Telegraph Sunday Magazine among others.Ashburn began photographing the impact of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa in 2001 and released a book of this work in 2009 entitled I Am Because We Are with a forward by Madonna. Ashburn’s work has also taken her to Iraq a year following the US-led invasion; Israel and the Palestinian Territories; Sri Lanka in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami; New Orleans after Katrina; Haiti after the earthquake; and Russia to cover the spread of MDR-tuberculosis in the penal system.

Robert Pledge

A student of West African languages and anthropology, Robert found his way into journalism to become an editor in 1970 at the French visual arts magazine Z​oom;​ in 1973, he became the director of the New York office of the picture agency Gamma. In 1976, he co-founded the independent, international Contact Press Images Agency. Robert has curated major photographic exhibitions around the world including: “Photojournalism Since Vietnam” (1987); “Gilles Caron – Plutôt la vie” (1998); “Jane Evelyn Atwood –Too Much Time: Women in Prison” (2000); “Contact/s: The Art of Photojournalism“ (2006); “Robert Frank – The Americans: Walking through the pages“ (2007); “Don McCullin – The Impossible Peace” (2012). Has sat on many international juries including The World Press Photo Foundation. Robert has edited acclaimed book such as: R​ed-Color News Soldier(​2003) with Chinese photographer Li Zhensheng; David Burnett’s 4​4 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World​ (2009); and Q​uelque part en France​ – ​l’été 1944 de John G. Morris​ (2014). He is a member and former president of the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Fund, (USA) and current president of the Board of Trustees of the Dotation Catherine Leroy (France).

Elisabeth Biondi

Elisabeth Biondi has been an independent curator, teacher and writer since 2011. Before that time, she was the Visuals Editor of The New Yorker for 15 yearswhere she shaped the look of thepublication by establishing a group of staff photographers, commissioning both masters an emerging talent. Elisabeth built the magazine’s reputation for its use of photography, for which itreceived numerous awards, including two National Magazine Awards. Her independent curating includes: Subjective/Objective and Under the Bridge for the New York PhotoFestival and New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography at Steven Kasher Gallery; Beyond Words, at the Howard Greenberg Gallery and Ullens Center in Beijing; and REFUGEE at the Annenberg Center for Photography. Most recently she was a judge in the eight-episodeSky Arts ‘Master of Photography’ series, which aired in 2018 and again in 2019.

Robert Clark

Robert Clark is a freelance photographer based in New York City, working with the world’s leading magazines, publishers and cutting-edge advertising campaigns, as well as the author of four monographs: Evolution A Visual Record, Feathers Displays of Brilliant Plumage, First Down Houston A Year with the Houston Texans and Image America – the first photography book shot solely with a cellphone cameraHis work regularly appears in National Geographic Magazine. During his twenty-year association with National Geographic, Clark has photographed more than 50 stories. Clark documented the lives of high school football players for the book Friday Night Lights and recently directed the short film “8 Seconds” as part of an advertorial campaign for Russell Athletic which was awarded a Cleo.

Ruth Eichhorn

Ruth Eichhorn has been the Director of Photography of the GEO magazines, headquartered in Hamburg from 1994 to 2015. From 1988 to 1994, Eichhorn worked out of the New York office for German GEO , as their Bureau Chief. Shehas curated and organized numerous exhibitions and edited a range of photo books. She also edits photo books and works as a correspondent and adviser for different foreign publications. She was part of many international juries around the world, amongst them the World Press Photo Award, the UNICEF Photo of the Year award, POY and CHIPP.

Yan Cong

Yan Cong is a visual storyteller based in Beijing, China. She splits her time working on long-term documentary projects and editorial assignments. She focuses her personal projects on topics such as women’s issues, social justice and China’s relations with its neighbouring countries. Her work has been published internationally such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, ChinaFile, and Smithsonian Magazine. In 2016, she was selected as a Fellow for The Abigail Cohen Fellowship co-founded by ChinaFile and Magnum Foundation and was selected by World Press Photo’s 6×6 program in 2019. Yan co-writes a photo column “Depth of Field,” introducing Chinese photographers’ photojournalism work to an international audience, with the intention to amplify local photographers’ voices, and to foster an understanding about China through the lens of local photographers. Yan holds a M.S. in journalism from Columbia Journalism School.

Shahidul Alam

Photographer Shahidul Alam was a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018, and in that same year he was jailed for over 100 days for criticizing the Bangladesh government. A former President of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set-up Drik agency, Bangladesh Photographic Institute, Chobi Mela Festival, Majority World agency and Pathshala, the South Asian Media Institute which is considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Alam’s work has been featured at the MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris and Tate Modern London, and he was a guest speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. His awards include the Shilpakala Padak, the highest national award given to Bangladeshi artists, as well as the Infinity and Lucie Foundation Awards. Alam’s book “My journey as a witness” was listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo and described by John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine, as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”