Telling stories with pictures

War photojournalist Lynsey Addario has taken photos in some of the most dangerous situations a photographer can face, yet she says seeing a retrospective of her over 20 year career is tough for someone who has always been their own harshest critic.

“It’s pretty terrifying actually, I walk in here and I feel a little uncomfortable actually because it’s overwhelming,” said Addario of the all-encompassing look at her work.

The School of Visual Arts is honoring Addario with a Masters Series Award and Exhibition.

What You Need To Know

  • The School of Visual Arts is honoring war photojournalist Lynsey Addario with its Masters Series Award and Exhibition
  • Addario has been taking photos in war zones and of humanitarian relief efforts for over two decades
  • She has spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, the Middle East and most recently Ukraine
  • Addario has worked in over 80 different countries during her career

It looks back at the Pulitzer Prize winner’s time documenting conflicts around the globe. That includes places like Afghanistan, Iraq and most recently Ukraine, where she arrived just before the war there started.

“There are characteristics of every war that are similar, you know civilians paying the price, civilians being killed, people fleeing for their lives, I think there are so many constants that happen in war and that is the sad part,” Addario said.

The exhibition, curated by Maya Benton and Perri Hofmann, goes back in time to Addario first venturing into photography as a pre-teen in Connecticut, to her travels in over 80 countries, with near-death experiences and two kidnappings along the way.

She said covering war while focusing strongly on women’s issues in areas of conflict is not a job to her, it’s her life and what she believes in.

“I really believe that these situations have to be covered, that conflicts have to be covered, humanitarian crisis, that people who are in positions of power have to understand the results of their decisions,” Addario said.

While Addario has come a long way since receiving her first Nikon camera from her father, she said she still prepares for every job like it’s the first.

“I never take any assignment for granted. I put my heart and soul into every single one,” Addario said.

Visitors can see the powerful proof of that at SVA’s 32nd Annual Master Series Award and Exhibition at their Chelsea Galleries through Oct. 29.


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