Tag Archives: human rights program

Photo Gallery: Celebrating Fred Ritchin’s Retirement from NYU


Saturday night on the 8th floor of Tisch saw a wonderful celebration of the 23 years and countless inspiring ideas that DPI professor and associate chair (now adjunct professor) Fred Ritchin gave to NYU and DPI. We’re excited for Fred and his new position as Dean of the School at ICP. Click through to enjoy photos from the party and don’t miss the slideshow of images capturing Fred’s 23 years at DPI.






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DPI Alum Selected for 2014 Recontres Arles Discovery Award


Will Stacey is one of the ten nominees for the 2014 Recontres Arles Discovery Award. He will be exhibiting nearly 150 photographs from his series DEADLINE in Arles festival this summer. 

Here’s a description from Will:
For the past five years, I have photographed with unrestricted access the newsroom and printing plant of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Through a depiction of The Inquirer’s efforts to prevail despite depleted ad revenue, a steady decline in circulation, lay-offs, buy-outs, and bankruptcy, my intent is to reveal the challenges and harsh realities that face the newspaper industry today. A close examination of the newspaper industry and in-depth story explaining the events that landed newsrooms in their current predicaments has largely gone untold. Since 2000 the newspaper industry has shed 30% of its workforce, making it the fastest shrinking industry in America. Yet 60% of the American public has heard little or nothing about the news industry’s financial struggles. As we find ourselves amidst a massive societal transition into an information technology economy of the future in which technological advances have eroded middle skill, middle class jobs, boosted productivity while reducing the labor force, what has been the human cost of these gains? When we lose reporters, editors, newsbeats and sections of papers, we lose coverage, information, and a connection to our cities and our society, and, in the end, we lose ourselves. Without the human investment to provide news content it becomes a zero sum game on the information highway to nowhere. The fibers of the paper and the clicks of the mouse are worthless unless the words they are presented on have value. The newspaper is much more than a business, it is a civic trust.
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Santiago Arcos DPI Human Rights Program Alum on Lens Blog

santiagoSantiago Arcos, DPI Human Rights Alum of 2013, has been working on a photo project in rural Ecuador in a town that has no children. La Ciénega, Ecuador is a Podunk that, stricken by a seven year drought in the 1970’s, has lost most of its citizens to bigger cities. At the time the project started the town consisted of 11 people living in 8 houses except during the festival of the Day of Dead once a year when all the connected families come back, reinvigorating the town with life for only a short while. Read the rest of the story and how Santiago was fated to cover this story over at the Lens Blog.

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Tisch Photography and Human Rights 2013: 7 New York Stories

During our regular summer school session here at DPI seven photographers from around the world came to the Washington Square campus to participate in our Photography and Human Rights program run in conjunction with the Magnum Foundation.  Head over to the exhibition web page to view the work, descriptions are below.


(From upper left to lower right).

DANCING IN THE DARK by Lijie Zhang. “People are interested in me as a visually impaired person… It is not always easy for me… Cannot see doesn’t mean your body is not important. Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared. The world is there for the taking.” – Christine Krishna

A TIME IS CHANGING by Eman Helal. A gay married couple with a young child find a Pentacostal faith based community in Brooklyn, New York.

HER BODY IN HER WORDS by Elena Mudd. Her Body In Her Words is a photo-book by Elena Mudd which delves into different perspectives women have about their own bodies and body image. Images and words combine to give the viewer a deeper understanding of how and what women think about themselves.

AD… NOISE by Ramin Mazur about the relentless assault of advertising in Times Square.

IT’S NOT JUST HERE by Pattabi Ramen. After a series of gun violence occured in June 2013, these photographs explore the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.

EXCHANGING VOICES by Madeline Cottingham. We have heard the statistics: it is cut in half. America is split on the issue of climate change. We all have our personal views about it, but rarely are they expressed. It is a sensitive matter and a controversial discussion. Exchanging Voices aims to open up this conversation.

SMOKE by Santiago Arcos covers days in the life of Smoke, a homeless man in New York City.

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Sim Chi Yin: New Work From A DPI Human Rights Alum. Here and on NYTimes

This fall we asked DPI Human Rights Program alum Sim Chi Yin what she was working. She wrote back:

I’m currently working on a personal project here in China on miners with silicosis, a condition like coal miners’ “black lung” disease where silica dust they were exposed to at work years ago gets lodged in their lungs and causes fibrosis, hence reducing their ability to breathe. There is no complete cure apart from a lung transplant, which is rarely done in China, let alone for impoverished migrant workers. The victims are typically former farmers from remote, landlocked parts of China where there isn’t much of a living to be made off the land. These men travel to mines – gold, coal, silver – to work in all sorts of adverse conditions, often drilling into hard rock with little protective gear.

In the Depression Era United States, silicosis or black lung disease was a problem too, though it is no longer an issue in most of the developed world. In China, the umbrella group of pneumoconiosis diseases is the no.1 occupational disease.

Unofficial estimates are that there are about six million pneumoconiosis sufferers in China. More miners and former miners are now dying of this disease than mining accidents in China each year.
I’m focusing on one family in a remote, mountainous part of northwestern China and also documenting others in the area in addition to a gold mining town.

Sim Chi Yin is also featured in the NY Times documenting the growing disparity in wealth among Chinese people. Click through to see that piece >>.

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DPI Human Rights Program Alumni: Taslima Akhter on Lens Blog; Boniface Mwangi a Senior TED Fellow

This update comes via Fred Ritchin,


“Pardon me, my dear, I am going to die,” Julekha Begum’s husband said in a last phone call from the burning factory he was trapped in on Saturday. The fire, at a Tazreen factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killed more than 100 workers.

As you have read, there was a terrible fire in Bangladesh not unlike the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire right next door to us. 112 low-paid garment workers died. One of our 2011 graduates from the Photography & Human Rights summer program, Taslima Akhter, has been documenting the lives of garment workers there for a number of years, and her work covering this latest horror was published yesterday on the NY Times Lens Blog. She came to NYU supported by a Magnum Foundation scholarship.

I wanted to point out her work to you, not only because of the tragedy itself, but because I think it is very much in the spirit of what we are trying to work towards in the Human Rights program–dedicated young photographers the world over who can articulate what is happening in their regions so as to advocate for social change.


Also, one other recent graduate of this program, Boniface Mwangi from Kenya, has just been named a Senior TED Fellow. He has been leading an anti-corruption campaign in Kenya, working with graffiti artists on the street. You can see some of the work at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17548225

All best,

For those interested in future DPI/Magnum Human Rights programs please find more information on our website.


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