Annenberg Space for Photography Announces Upcoming Iris Nights Lecture Series and Skylight Studios Installation for New Exhibition

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Annenberg Space for Photography has announced a series of special events and programming presented in conjunction with the exhibition REFUGEE, on view at the Photography Space from April 23 through August 21, 2016. For REFUGEE, the Annenberg Foundation commissioned five internationally acclaimed photographers—Lynsey AddarioOmar Victor Diop, Graciela IturbideMartin Schoeller and Tom Stoddart—to document the lives of the forcibly displaced on five continents.

The programming includes a livestreamed panel discussion featuring REFUGEE exhibition photographers, the popular IRIS Nights Lecture Series and the New Americans installation at Skylight Studios.


In Crisis in Focus, three of REFUGEE’s photographers will discuss their experiences while on assignment for the exhibition. Lynsey Addario will discuss documenting the Rohingya people — a disenfranchised Muslim population in the predominantly Buddhist nation of Myanmar. Omar Victor Diop will share his experiences photographing refugees from the Central African Republic who were forced to flee to Cameroon. Martin Schoeller will describe working with refugees who have recently resettled in the U.S.

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees Kelly Clements will open the discussion with a brief overview of the crisis, and NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley will moderate the panel.  REFUGEE photographer Tom Stoddart and the exhibition documentary filmmakers from Tiger Nest Films will also participate in a Q & A following the panel.

Crisis in Focus was live streamed Friday, April 22 at 12:45PM PT. (Viewer discretion is advised. Content may not be suitable for all viewers.) To view the live digital broadcast visit:


New Americans at Skylight Studios shows the prevailing hope and strength of today’s refugees from across the globe. Opening in conjunction with the REFUGEE exhibition on April 23, this multimedia installation features the experiences of refugees who are rebuilding their lives after being resettled in the U.S.

In New Americans, visitors can view Humans of New York’s compelling photo series of Syrian refugees recently accepted for resettlement through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.  A section of the installation commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation and titled New Californians features inspirational audio recordings, photographs and short films of newly resettled refugees in California. Sarah Ann Jump’s engaging multimedia project, New Roots, follows a Congolese family through their first year as new residents of Rochester, NY.

New Americans also features The Refugee Project, an interactive data visualization that depicts the global movement of refugees over the last 40 years and explains the causes of the largest refugee movements.

Additionally, guests can immerse themselves in The illumiNATION Experience, an interactive light and shadow installation exclusively at Skylight Studios.

New Americans is presented at Skylight Studios from April 23, 2016 through August 21, 2016.  Admission is free.


The Annenberg Space for Photography will also present the Iris Nights Lecture Series, featuringREFUGEE exhibition photographers as well as other photographers who have documented the displaced.

Tickets to all Iris Nights lectures are free of charge and available by online reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. The series is also available to view live online. To view complete series information and make reservations visit:

April 28 | Tom Stoddart
Every Picture Tells A Story
REFUGEE exhibition photographer Tom Stoddart has photographed such events as the war in Lebanon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of President Nelson Mandela, the siege of Sarajevo and both wars waged against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. His 2004 retrospective outdoor London exhibition iWITNESS was visited by 250,000 people. Stoddart will discuss his long and varied career in photojournalism, which has taken him to over 70 countries.

May 5 | Giles Duley
From Fashion Photographer to Documenting the Legacy of War
Giles Duley worked as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years. In 2000, he began personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs and the stories of those affected by conflict around the world. In 2011, he lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan. Duley returned to work less than 18 months later. He will discuss his experiences, including photographing the refugee crisis for UNHCR.

May 12 | Kadir van Lohuizen
Refugee or Migrant?
Kadir van Lohuizen has covered conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, but is probably best known for his long-term projects on the seven rivers of the world, the rising of sea levels, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas. He has received numerous prizes and awards in photojournalism. Van Lohuizen will discuss Via PanAm, a visual investigation of migration in the Americas, which took him from the southern tip of Chile to the northern territories of Alaska.

May 19 | Elena Dorfman
Syria’s Lost Generation
Elena Dorfman is primarily a fine art photographer whose work has exposed marginalized communities in a way that brings them attention and respect. She will share images and stories from her 2013–2014 journey to photograph teenage refugees from Syria.  This lost generation of Syrians fled war and persecution at home and are sitting out young adulthood in exile in Lebanon, Turkey, Kurdistan, Jordan and Egypt.

May 26 | Graciela Iturbide
My Experience Photographing Refugees and Displaced People
Fine art photographer Graciela Iturbide’s work has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She will share her experiences photographing refugees and displaced people in Mexico and Colombia for the REFUGEE exhibition. 

June 2 | Martin Schoeller
Martin Schoeller is known for his detailed, close-range photographic portraits of everyday people, important and iconic entertainment personalities, political and cultural figures, making him a singular presence in the field of contemporary photographic portraiture. Schoeller will discuss his career from photo school through today, including his portraits of resettled refugees for the REFUGEE exhibition. 

June 9 | Benjamin Lowy
Bird Watching in Baghdad (And Other Assorted Tales From a Life of Photography)
Benjamin Lowy is an American photojournalist best known for his work as a conflict photographer and as one of the early adopters of and a vocal proponent for mobile photography. His work from Iraq, Darfur and Afghanistan has been featured in many gallery and museum shows, including the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides and Arles. Lowy will discuss how he survived for ten years as a war zone photographer, as well as his travels shooting adventure and wildlife subjects, and everything in between.

June 16 | Omar Victor Diop
Omar Victor Diop’s body of work includes conceptual projects, staged portraiture and self-portraiture, with visual references ranging from classical European paintings to postcolonial African studio photography. His creative practice also involves costume design, textile research, and creative writing. Diop will discuss his travels through Africa and his photographs for REFUGEE.

June 23 | Daniel Jack Lyons
Witnessing the Vision and Hearing the Voice
New York-based photographer and global health practitioner Daniel Jack Lyons’s fundamental belief is that the subjects of his photography should have agency in telling their own stories.  To accomplish this, he has created a collaborative process in which he not only photographs people, but also provides them with cameras to document and convey their experiences. He has used this approach with refugees in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ukraine and New York City.  Lyons will discuss his process and share photos, stories and experiences from his fieldwork.

June 30 | REZA Deghati 
Exile Voices: Visual Stories of Refugees by Refugee Children
REZA Deghati is a renowned photojournalist who has worked all over the world, notably for National Geographic. He has authored 29 books and is the recipient of numerous awards over the course of his career. Deghati will discuss the workshop he launched at the Kawergosk refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he provided cameras to children to inspire them to become “camp reporters.”

July 21 | Leslie Knott & Clementine Malpas (Tiger Nest Films)
Filmmakers Leslie Knott and Clementine Malpas founded Tiger Nest Films in 2011. Knott is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer who has focused most of her career on documenting the lives of refugees.  Malpas has spent much of her career focusing on refugees and women’s rights. The duo has worked with the United Nations Ambassador for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, to tell the stories of refugees who have fled their homes in the Middle East and Asia.  They were commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation to create the documentary film for REFUGEE.  Knott and Malpas will discuss how the line between observer and participant is blurred while filming and photographing in situations of intense drama and human suffering.

August 4 | Brian Sokol
People, Not Numbers: Using Photography to Humanize the Global Refugee Crisis
Since 2012, Brian Sokol has focused on telling the stories of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. A former mountain guide and ranger, photographer Sokol will discuss how photography can build empathy in audiences while demystifying and humanizing marginalized people.

August 11 | Slideshow Night at the Annenberg Space for Photography
A new presentation of compelling images by artists whose work complements the themes explored inREFUGEE.

August 18 | Meridith Kohut
Meridith Kohut is an American photographer and multimedia journalist based in Caracas, Venezuela, where she has worked covering Latin America for the foreign press since 2007. Kohut has produced in-depth photo essays on the drug trade, Hugo Chávez’s socialist revolution, gang violence, prison overcrowding and prostitution for such outlets as The New York Times, the UN, Newsweek International,TIMEBloomberg NewsThe Washington Post Magazine and more. She will discuss her work as a photographer, including travels throughout Latin American covering refugee and migration issues.

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