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An Evening with National Geographic Photographer Randy Olson
October 5, 2017 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: CEMEX Auditorium - Map Link
Free and open to the public
We are proud to invite you to an evening lecture and screening of photographs by Randy Olson, one of the most celebrated documentary photographers working today. This is the second in our series of appearances at Stanford by internationally award-winning photographers; last Fall we hosted David Burnett, and in Winter quarter this year Ed Kashi will join us.
Randy Olson’s work has appeared in numerous publications, but he is best known as a National Geographic photographer. He has traveled to over fifty countries for the dozens of feature projects he’s completed for National Geographic, from the Ozarks and Iowa’s Amish communities, to Samoa, the Black Sea, Sudan, Suriname, Iraq, and Kamchatka. He won the “Picture of the Year” award more than thirty times before 2005, when he stopped entering contests, and his photographs have been republished more than 8,000 times since 2001. His work has appeared in over seventy books published by the National Geographic Society and others, and he has had exhibitions and conducted workshops internationally over a career that spans thirty-five years.
As he traveled the world on assignment for National Geographic, Olson observed that every year the Earth is losing precious diversity—cultural, linguistic, genetic—and that it is all irreplaceable. He is persuaded that our contemporary conversations about biodiversity tend to focus too exclusively on animals and plants, and not enough on how urbanization erodes indigenous communities in several areas of the globe, such as the Mbuti Pygmies, Aboriginal Australians, and Easter Island’s Rapa Nui. In this talk, Olson will showcase his photographic work, that aims to add a human dimension by documenting the faces and stories of people whose cultures and life-worlds are threatened, and whose genetic pools are evaporating. His photographs are both hauntingly beautiful and compellingly urgent.
Randy Olson, Documentary Photographer
Randy Olson has been working for National Geographic magazine for more than twenty years, covering stories on environmental issues, overpopulation, and disappearing cultures. His work has also been published in Life, GEO, and Smithsonian magazines. In 2011, the National Geographic Society published a book of his work in its Masters of Photography series. He is the founder and general manager of The Photo Society, a nonprofit organization for photographers contributing to National Geographic.