Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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The Photojournalist

Going through Susan Meiselas’s work at the International Center of Photography (ICP) was truly breathtaking. Never before have I been exposed to such “in your face” photography. I was taken back with one of her works, her Carnival Strippers project, but Meiselas’s other piece about the political revolutions down in Central America did more than tell a story, her photos put the viewer in the story.

Susan Meiselas is a very well educated woman, having earned her masters degree in visual education at Harvard University. Her first major work which essentially introduced her to the world, was her Carnival Strippers project mentioned before. In this project, she focused on the lives of strippers at fairs across the New England area. Her work offered a new vantage point of strippers, making it out to be something revolutionary. Meiselas was both straight forward and not withholding with her photography style – she is up close and personal. This style of hers carried over to her future works as well. In her documentary of Kurdistan, Meiselas took pictures of burning cars, deeply dug graves riddled with bodies, and a slew of other revealing photographs. Meiselas covered the Nicaraguan insurrection as well. Not only did she do photo-journalism, she helped direct two films that were integral to her journalistic agenda, “Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family” and “Pictures from a Revolution.”

Susan Meiselas is known throughout the world, having had exhibitions in countries as far as Japan and France. She is also the recipient of many honoraries, such as the Engelman Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art. Meiselas helped shed light on various global issues, and as a freelance photographer for the prestigious Magnum, she continues to do so.