Traditionally, history was “written” by a few with power. Today’s technologies have given much of this power back to the people as increased personal documentation unwittingly democratizes the histories we come to know. In particular, photography plays a heightened role in how we document and remember our personal and shared pasts.
NYU Professor Lauren Walsh and VII Agency photographer Ron Haviv talk about Lost Rolls America (LRA), a national photo archive that emphasizes a democratic process and prioritizes the role of photography in memory and history. How has our relationship to images and memories evolved? What surprising phenomena can LRA show us about shared experiences across time, space, race and gender in the United States?
Through real-time interactive participation, the audience will have an option to share the photos on their phones alongside their own memories and become part of Lost Rolls America. This session explores what this means for the ever-changing dynamic between media, memory and history.
Lauren Walsh, Project Director of Lost Rolls America, is a professor and writer. She teaches at The New School and New York University, where she is the Director of the Gallatin Photojournalism Lab.
Walsh’s forthcoming book, Conversations on Conflict Photography (2019), focuses on photographic coverage of war and humanitarian crises. She is editor of Macondo: Memories of the Colombian Conflict (2017), a photo book on the long-term civil conflict in Colombia. Walsh is co-editor of The Millennium Villages Project (2016), which documents UN-supported interventions to reduce extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and The Future of Text and Image (2012), a collection of essays on the dynamic between word and image. She has published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Photography and Culture, Hyperallergic, The Romanic Review, The Journal of American History, andThe New Republic, among others, and has articles in numerous anthologies.
In addition to her appearances on CNN, Walsh has appeared on radio programs and as an expert on photography in the documentary 9/11: Ten Years Later (2011). She has curated photography shows at The Gallatin Galleries in New York City. Her teaching and research focus on questions of memory and visual media, and she holds a PhD from Columbia University.
Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the photo agency VII, who has been dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe.
In the last three decades, Haviv has covered more than twenty-five conflicts and worked in over one hundred countries. He has published three critically acclaimed collections of photography, and his work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Haviv's photographs are in the collections at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and George Eastman House amongst others as well as numerous private collections.
Haviv has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague. President George H.W. Bush cited Haviv’s chilling photographs documenting paramilitary violence in Panama as one of the reasons for the 1989 American intervention.
His first photography book, Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, was called “One of the best nonfiction books of the year,” by The Los Angeles Times and “A chilling but vastly important record of a people’s suffering,” by Newsweek. His other monographs are Afghanistan: The Road to Kabul, Haiti: 12 January 2010 and the latest book The Lost Rolls described by The Washington Post as “ The magical photos recovered from over 200 lost rolls of film... An odd family photo album in which the kin are the people and places that have defined global politics and culture in the past quarter century.” !
Haviv is the central character in six documentary films, including National Geographic Explorer’s Freelance in a World of Risk, in which he speaks about the dangers of combat photography, including his numerous detentions and close calls. He has provided expert analysis and commentary on ABC World News, BBC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America.The Charlie Rose Show and The Washington Post.
Image © Marc and Michael S. Berardi