Manage episode 327830444 series 3288434
"When are we all going to start to care about one another? Because all of our individual choices do have impacts. And I just think the demands that we place on this planet, on the ecosystems, are what are driving conflict and human suffering. In some cases, it's really the scarcity of resources, just like water. In others, it's the changing climate and the loss of fertile lands to be able to grow food. But in the end, it's always the people living in these places that really suffer the most. All of my work today, it’s not really about wildlife, and it's not just about people either. It's about how deeply interconnected all of those things are. People and the human condition are the backdrop of every one of the stories on this planet."
Photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale shares her personal odyssey—from documenting the heartbreaking realities of war to witnessing the inspiring power of an individual to make a difference. Her award-winning work illuminates the unsung heroes and communities working to protect our wildlife and find harmony in our natural world. Hear her awe-inspiring stories of the reintroduction of northern white rhinos and giant pandas to the wild, as well as Kenya’s first indigenous-owned and run elephant sanctuary.
Ami has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.”
Ami is an Ambassador for Nikon and a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine. She has documented wildlife and poaching in Africa, covered human-wildlife conflict, and concentrated on efforts to save the northern white rhino and reintroduce pandas to the wild. She is a six-time recipient of World Press Photos and published a best-selling book, Panda Love, on the secret lives of pandas. She lectures for the National Geographic LIVEseries, and she frequently gives workshops around the world.
After more than a decade covering conflict, photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale couldn’t help but notice that the less sensational—but equally true—stories were often not getting told: the wedding happening around the corner from the revolution, triumphs amidst seemingly endless devastation. As a result, she re-committed herself to seeking out the stories within and around “the story.” Her belief that “you can’t talk about humanity without talking about nature” led her to chronicle her journey from documenting warzones to telling some of the most compelling wildlife and environmental stories of our time, where individuals are making a profound difference in the future of their communities and this planet.
She is Executive Director of Vital Impacts whose mission is to support grassroots organizations who are protecting people, wildlife and habitats. She is also a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers who document challenges facing women and girls in developing countries. She is chair of the Photographers Advisory Board for National Geographic magazine photographers and also a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the Alexia Foundations Photojournalism Advisory Board. · www.amivitale.com
· Print sale for Vital Impacts: https://vitalimpacts.org/collections/impact-now
· IG: @amivitale
· IG: @vital.impacts
· IG: @wild.lifeincolour
Joseph Wachira comforts Sudan, the last living northern white rhino on the planet, moments before his death on March 19, 2018 at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya.
Ⓒ Ami Vitale