Photographs and social change

“At any one time, there is only one art form that is speaking. Once it was dance, then it was poetry, then the short story. Today it is film, and it feels to me that we need to make that connection now if we really want to see change happen in the world.” – Ken Brecher, Social Anthropologist and Executive Director of the Sundance Institute

I believe visual communication is powerful for social change, no matter it’s a form in film, documentary or photo. I’m currently taking a photo journalism class. This week’s assignment is to write an essay about a journalist who inspires me. I conducted a profile search on a list of famous photojournalists for the assignment and found that there are photojournalists who are dedicated to take spectacular pictures for causes; for a hope that their photos can raise people’s awareness of issues and be influential to people’s decision making. All of these photojournalists are inspirational to me and I’d like share them with you here.

  1. War photographer – James Nachtwey: My photographs bear witness
  2. Environmental photographer – Paul Nicklen: Tales of ice-bound wonderlands
  3. Social documentary photographer – Sebastio Salgado

David Griffin, photo director of National Geographic, talked about the power of photography to connect us to the world through many other photographers great works in TED.


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