Ed Kashi (www.edkashi.com) is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. Through his photography and filmmaking, along with his work as a mentor, teacher and lecturer, Kashi is a leading voice in the photojournalism and visual storytelling community. Kashi’s innovative approach to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook with MediaStorm in 2006, which has been shown in film festivals and museums around the world. An eight-year project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, has created one of the most extensive visual archives on aging in the United States. As a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine, he has produced 17 features since 1991. Along with numerous awards from World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International, UNICEF?s Photo of the Year 2010, a Prix Pictet 2010 Commission and honors from Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. He has published seven books, including Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and THREE. Kashi’s latest book Photojournalisms, is a compilation of journal writings to his wife, done over a nearly 20-year period, from various locations around the world. He was named by the Pictures of the Year International, Multimedia Photographer of the Year for 2014.
LACP Interviews Ed Kashi
LACP asks Ed Kashi ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Ed Kashi: A photojournalist and filmmaker.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
EK: 35 years.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
EK: Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
EK: When I was 18 years old.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
EK: I’ve never seriously entertained this idea although I’ve been pushed to think about it many, many times.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
EK: Yes, being away from my family for half of their lives.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
EK: The richness of experiences that I otherwise would have never received, the privilege of witnessing both small, intimate events in other’s lives, and massive, historical events that changed human history. I have also received knowledge and learned so much about how the world works.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
EK: “New Frontiers in the Art of Visual Storytelling”.
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
EK: Sharing my experience and knowledge, engaging with new people and learning from them.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
EK: Be committed, strong, independent and passionate.