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Jan 13-17, 2020

Washington, D.C.

Powerful stories help us understand each other and our world. The National Geographic Storytellers Summit brings together inspirational and influential photographers, writers, filmmakers, illustrators and journalists to celebrate the art of storytelling and its ability to connect us and inspire change. Join us!

2020 Summit Speakers

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Shahidul Alam
Photo Seminar Speaker
Shahidul Alam
 Photo Seminar Speaker
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Time magazine “Person of the Year 2018,” photographer, writer, curator, and activist Shahidul Alam founded Drik Picture Library, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Chobi Mela photo festival, and Majority World photo agency. His work has been shown in MOMA,Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern, andTehran Museum of Contemporary Art. A guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery, National ArtGallery Malaysia, and Musée du Quai Branly, and at Brussels Biennial and Auckland Festival of Photography, Alam has received numerous awards, including the Shilpakala Padak, the highest state honor given to Bangladeshi artists; the 2018 Lucie Foundation Humanitarian Award; and the 2019 ICP Special Presentation Award.

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Wajahat Ali
Photo Seminar Speaker
Wajahat Ali
 Photo Seminar Speaker
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Wajahat Ali is a New York Times contributing op-ed writer, a CNN commentator, a former attorney, and a former consultant for the U.S.State Department. Ali has given keynote speeches at TED, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Google, the United Nations, and elsewhere. His writing appears regularly in The Atlantic, the Washington Post,and the Guardian. He helped launch the Al Jazeera America network and is a Peabody-nominated producer of The Secret Life of Muslims. Ali is the author of The Domestic Crusaders, the first major play about Muslim Americans post-9/11.He was honored as a Generation Change Leader by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Evgenia Arbugaeva
Symposium Speaker
Evgenia Arbugaeva
 Symposium Speaker
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Russian photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva often works in her Arctic homeland, discovering and capturing its remote worlds and the people who inhabit them. A contributing photographer to National Geographic magazine, she first covered a story for the April 2013 issue on mammoth hunters—native people of Yakutia who excavate mammoth tusks from the thawing permafrost of the New Siberian Islands. Arbugaeva has won various competitions and is a recipient of the ICP Infinity Award and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in The New Yorker and Le Monde, among other publications.

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Shin Arunrugstichai
Symposium Speaker
Shin Arunrugstichai
 Symposium Speaker
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Sirachai “Shin” Arunrugstichai is a Thai marine biologist turned conservation photographer, specializing in marine conservation issues. He has worked on assignment for National Geographic magazine (Thai edition) as well as for several conservation organizations, including IUCN Asia, Save Our Seas Foundation, WildAid, Ocean Conservancy, and others, and his photos have been published in the Washington Post, the Guardian, and BBC Earth. A National Geographic Emerging Explorer and an International League of Conservation Photographers Emerging League Photographer, Arunrugstichai has been selected as part of World Press Photo’s 6x6 Global Talent Program and one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch by Photo District News.

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Anush Babajanyan
Symposium Speaker
Anush Babajanyan
 Symposium Speaker
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Anush Babajanyan is a member of the VII Photo Agency based in Armenia. Her work focuses on social narratives related to women and children, the environment, and the consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, among others, and she is dedicated to peace-building projects between Armenia and Turkey. Babajanyan is a 2019 National Geographic Society Grantee, visualizing realities around water management in Central Asia. She has worked on a number of stories with UNICEF, and her photography has been published in the New York Times,Washington Post,Foreign Policy magazine, and various other publications. Babajanyan is the winner of the 2019 Canon Female Photojournalist Grant.

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Jahawi Bertolli
Symposium Speaker
Jahawi Bertolli
 Symposium Speaker
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Jahawi Bertolli is a National Geographic Explorer, filmmaker, photographer, and music producer from Kenya specializing in wildlife and the underwater world. He strives to portray the beauty, power, and vulnerability of wild environments through his work, which has taken him around the world. His current focus is on telling African wildlife stories from the perspectives of the local communities, highlighting African storytelling. In 2019, Bertolli was awarded a Vulcan Visiting World Filmmakers scholarship from Jackson Wild Summit and was also the co-host of the annual Grand Teton Awards.

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Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick
Photo Seminar Speakers
Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick
 Photo Seminar Speakers
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Born in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun have chronicled the African American experience in the city and the surrounding countryside since the early 1980s. Their photographic archive was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, yet their work has proved resilient. Their solo show Slavery, the Prison Industrial Complex was on view at the 56th Venice Biennale; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Frist Art Museum in Nashville; and the Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana. Their images have been published in Aperture magazine and are included in the book Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present. Their recent book, Louisiana Medley, celebrates the rich complexity of Louisiana identity, from the local street culture to life in the penitentiary known as Angola.

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Debi Cornwall
Photo Seminar Speaker
Debi Cornwall
 Photo Seminar Speaker
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Debi Cornwall is a conceptual documentary artist who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a 12-year career as a civil-rights lawyer. Her multilayered projects combine photographs, testimony, and other media to examine American power in the post-9/11 era. Her first project, Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay, has been internationally acclaimed both as a book (Radius, 2017) and an exhibition. Her recent honors include an NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, a Harpo Foundation grant, and shortlists for the 2019 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant and Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award. Radius will publish her new work, Necessary Fictions, in 2020.

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MONDAY, JANUARY 13 & TUESDAY, JANUARY 14

Grantee & Photographer Workshops | Private Event

Valuable workshops offering interdisciplinary collaboration and networking opportunities with National Geographic staff, fellow grantees, and photographers.

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15 | 1 PM - 5 PM

Storytellers Symposium | Invite Only

At a time when journalism is increasingly devalued, we invest in the best impact-driven storytellers. Hear from National Geographic storytelling grantees -- photographers, filmmakers, cartographers, illustrators -- who are inspiring audiences and conveying the importance of nature and culture.

1 PM
Opening

1:05 PM
Welcome by Michael L. Ulica, President & COO, National Geographic Society

1:10 PM | WATCH LIVE
Evgenia Arbugaeva

1:30 PM
Samuel Granados

1:40 PM
Shin Arunrugstichai & Gulshan Khan

1:45 PM | WATCH LIVE
Erika Larsen in conversation with David Quammen

2:20 PM
Anush Babajanyan

2:30 PM
Break

2:40 PM
Ismael Vásquez

2:50 PM | WATCH LIVE
Ronan Donovan

3:15 PM | WATCH LIVE
Malaika Vaz & Jahawi Bertolli

3:30 PM
Meghan Dhaliwal

3:40 PM
Esther Ruth Mbabazi & Citlali Fabián

3:50 PM
Ian Urbina in conversation with Kaitlin Yarnall

4:20 PM
Nirupa Rao

4:30 PM
Álvaro Laiz

4:40 PM
Closing Remarks by Kaitlin Yarnall, Chief SVP & Storytelling Officer, National Geographic Society

5:00 PM
Reception Begins in National Geographic Museum and Viewing Lounge

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 | 9 AM - 5 PM

Photography Seminar | Invite Only

An unforgettable day filled with fascinating images and stories from world-renowned photographers from around the globe. Witness the power of photography as our speakers delve into the challenges of activism, virtual relationships, incarceration, and recovery from trauma. And meet a flamingo named Bob. 

9 AM
Welcome by Vincent J. Musi, Master of Ceremonies

9:20 AM
Bayeté Ross Smith

9:40 AM
Debi Cornwall

10 AM | WATCH LIVE
Richard Mosse

10:40 AM
Break

11 AM | WATCH LIVE
Nigel Poor

11:20 AM | WATCH LIVE
Shahidul Alam in conversation with Wajahat Ali

12:15 PM
Break for lunch

2 PM
Remarks by Whitney Johnson, Director of Visuals and Immersive Experiences, National Geographic 

2:15 PM
Jerome Gence

2:30 PM
Reuben Wu

2:40 PM | WATCH LIVE
Jasper Doest

3:00 PM
Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick

3:20 PM
Rosem Morton

3:40 PM
Break

4 PM | WATCH LIVE
Susan Meiselas in conversation with Whitney Johnson

5 PM
Reception Begins in Viewing Lounge

Sponsored by

Anne Page Chiapella

Photographs by: Shahidul Alam, Malaika Vaz