12 October 2015
Capturing the Universal Human Spirit: A Photographic Journey Around the World
Award-winning Photojournalist, National Geographic Contributing Photographer and Author
Tuesday, October 27
9:30 a.m. — Lecture in the Loyola Theater
11:30 a.m. — Lunch in the Marillac Room
See the world through the lens of award-winning contributing National Geographic contributing photographer Alison Wright in this engrossing presentation that chronicles Wright’s extraordinary career circumnavigating the globe to document human rights issues and endangered cultures through her photography and writing.
You’ll also learn about the bus accident in Laos that nearly ended Wright’s life and career, her excruciating recovery and her dogged determination to continue traveling the world as an intrepid photojournalist. You won’t want to miss this inspirational story of courage and fortitude, which is the subject of Wright’s memoir Learning to Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival (Plume, 2009).
Wright will also talk about her mission to combine her photography with philanthropy through The Faces of Hope Fund, which she established in 2009 to address urgent humanitarian needs in impoverished countries throughout the world. Among its many projects, her foundation has provided tents for survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, funded a mobile medical unit for Burmese refugees in Thailand and children’s health programs in the Middle East, supported the liberation of Nepalese girls from lives of indentured servitude, sent girls to school in India, strengthened communities on the Tibetan Plateau and helped deliver medical supplies to the Kasi Clinic in Laos to pay back the community that saved her life after the bus crash. While on assignment documenting relief efforts after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, she donated thousands of dollars through The Faces of Hope Fund to purchase tents for survivors and support children orphaned by the quake.
Alison Wright, a New York-based social documentary photographer, has traveled to 150 countries during a career that has spanned more than two decades. She was recently named as a National Geographic Traveler of the Year, a designation that recognizes individuals who have an exceptional story to tell and represent a style of travel, motivation or method that can inform and inspire us all. A recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography for her images of child labor in Asia, she is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. Wright was celebrated as one of the Most Compelling Women in the Travel Industry in 2014 by Premier Traveler magazine. Through her visual storytelling, she has documented the lives of children in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the work of a multitude of aid organizations, including CARE, The Children’s Defense Fund, Save the Children, SEVA and UNICEF. Her images have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including American Photo, Forbes, Islands, National Geographic magazine, The New York Times, Outside, the San Francisco Chronicle and TIME. She has photographed/authored nine books, including The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile (1998), Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World (2003) and Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit (2013). Wright completed her undergraduate degree in photojournalism at Syracuse University and her master’s degree in visual anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley.