June 4, 2015
This annual lecture series honors the life and work of Robert H. Kirschner, M.D., noted forensic pathologist and a founder of the University of Chicago Human Rights Program. This year, internationally recognized and award-winning Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas will draw upon her decades of experience documenting human rights issues across the globe, including the Central American conflicts of the 1970s and 1980s, collective memory in Kurdistan, and indigenous people in Indonesia. Meiselas is currently president of the Magnum Foundation, which has recently supported a photographic project on the South Side of Chicago.
Susan Meiselas is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. She published her second monograph, Nicaragua, in 1981. Meiselas served as an editor and contributor to the book El Salvador: The Work of Thirty Photographers and edited Chile from Within featuring work by photographers living under the Pinochet regime. She has co-directed two films, Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family and Pictures from a Revolution with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti. In 1997, she completed a six-year project curating a hundred-year photographic history of Kurdistan, integrating her own work into the book Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History and developed akaKurdistan, an online site of exchange for collective memory in 1998.
Meiselas has had one-woman exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and her work is included in collections around the world. She has received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her work in Nicaragua (1979); the Leica Award for Excellence (1982); the Engelhard Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art (1985); the Hasselblad Foundation Photography prize (1994); the Cornell Capa Infinity Award (2005) and most recently was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal (2011). In 1992, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Sponsored by the International House Global Voices Lecture Series and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights.