On September 9, 2001 at a photography festival in southern France, seven great friends—Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, James Nachtwey, Christopher Morris, Antonin Kratochvil, John Stanmeyer and I—launched a new photo agency that we called VII. Much has been written about VII, little of it by me or the other founding members. Sometime in the future I will publish more about VII on this site. In the meantime, here are some early images from our scrapbook and two publications that celebrate the agency then and now.
Canon Brand Ambassador. Canon Ambassadors Program
In 2008 Canon Europe launched the Canon Ambassadors Program with Ziv Koren, Michael “Nick” Nichols, and I. The Program has since evolved and there are now Canon Masters, Canon Ambassadors, and Canon Explorers. My role in the program is now principally focused on education and capacity building in Africa where I work with a growing community of photographers to develop professional skills and competencies supported by Canon.
Below is a short film made by Canon in 2005 with Jerry Lampen, Ziv Koren, Peter DeJong, and I.
The VII Association is an independent charitable and education non-profit organization registered in New York that was conceived by Gary Knight and Ron Haviv in 2001 when they co-founded the VII Photo Agency. The Association is registered as a US based 501C3.
The VII Association has a broad remit to support, initiate and participate in projects that concern environmental, social, health and human rights issues with an ambition to effect change and seek solutions through communication and education.
In 2006, foreign correspondent Charles Sennott and I met for the first time in Afghanistan on assignment for the Boston Globe.
On assignment with Charles Sennott. Afghan National Army Forward Observation Post. Kunar. 2006
I had spent the previous five years building VII but was looking for a new challenge. Charlie was on a high after a yearlong fellowship at Harvard and figuring out how to re-engage with journalism. To cut a long story short, I encouraged him to create his own media business, and he encouraged me to apply for a fellowship at Harvard. I went to Harvard in 2009. Charlie co-founded the GlobalPost the same year. In 2011, we created with a brilliant (and tech-savvy) young journalist, Kevin Grant, the Boston-based GroundTruth Project, a registered media and education nonprofit, which is now based at National Public Radio's WGBH. Generously funded by the Bake Family Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Kaiser Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Galloway Family Foundation, The GroundTruth Project is dedicated to training a new generation of international correspondents and to adding increased knowledge and understanding on issues of social justice, including human rights, freedom of expression, emerging democracies, the environment, religious affairs, and global health.
With its history rooted in the freelance video news industry, the Frontline Club has drawn together a diverse group of people who share a passion for current affairs.
Set up by Vaughan Smith in 2003 in honour of colleagues at the Frontline News Television agency who died pursuing their work, the Frontline Club quickly became a centre for a diverse group of people united by their passion for quality journalism and by their dedication to ensuring that stories that fade from headlines are kept in sharp focus. The Frontline Club exists to promote freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen, and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work.
The Frontline Club is a social enterprise that contains two entities—the Frontline Club Charitable Trust (FCCT) and the Frontline Club Limited (FC).
FCCT delivers an extensive programme of public events bringing together many of the world’s best journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and thinkers. Its aim is to promote engagement and dialogue on international affairs, to champion independent journalism, and to provide a diverse range of training for journalists and other media workers. It is also home to The Frontline Fund, formerly the Fixers Fund, and the Frontline Freelance Register, a self-help group for conflict freelancers.
I have been privileged to judge the World Press Photo Awards 4 times, and chair the jury twice, on the last occasion in 2014.