glennagordon glennagordon

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Glenna Gordon  ⚡️Photographer seeking layers, conversations & connections 📷 NYTM, WSJ, Harpers, Time, etc Aftermath Project, 2019💥 Red Hook Editions 📚 New School 🍎

I spent nearly a week on an island full of monkeys that researchers have studied for generations for @nytmag for Luke Dittrich's amazing feature story about what we can learn from these primates about trauma, resilience, and community. The babies were cute enough to want to hug, but the threat of Herpes B kept me on edge throughout the week. Nonetheless, by the end of my assignment, some of them felt familiar, and all fo them unique. Link in bio.

The monkeys were everywhere. Some were drinking from a large pool of stagnant rainwater; some were grooming each other, nit-picking; some were still gnawing on the plum-size pellets of chow that Phillips hurled into the crowd a half-hour before. Two sat on the naked branch of a tree, sporadically mating. They were all rhesus macaques, a species that grows to a maximum height of about two and a half feet and a weight of about 30 pounds. They have long, flexible tails; dark, expressive eyes; and fur ranging from blond to dark brown... There was the fearless one that sauntered by and squatted right in front of him, ostentatiously ignoring him. There was the one that carried a pebble constantly, licking it like a lollipop. Another crouched under the meager shade of a stripped bush and pushed on his stomach until he regurgitated. He did this all the time, and nobody knew why. It may have been some sort of eating or anxiety disorder. Since Maria, researchers had observed that the behavior had spread to a couple of the monkey’s companions.”

“Disaster-relief operations tend to follow a standard triage. The thirsty receive water, the injured receive medical attention, the homeless receive shelter. And the neediest among them — the most injured, the most bereft — are relatively easy to pick out and prioritize. Psychological damage is harder to see. It can gestate for days or weeks or months before symptoms begin to show. By then the aid workers have usually left, and the emergency crews have moved on. In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, it would be helpful to know which survivors are most likely — for social or biological or circumstantial reasons — to develop psychological problems, so that they can be provided with the necessary resources. For now, though, that knowledge doesn’t really exist. What does something like Hurricane Maria actually do to a community, beyond the initial, obvious physical effects?

As it turns out, one of the best places to begin looking for answers may be a small, strange island full of monkeys.” Please give a read to this fascinating dispatch by Luke Dittrich - a pointed effort to understand a research station in Puerto Rico and also how trauma changes all of us.

Thanks so much to director of photography of @nytmag @kathyryan, for the great, challenging, adorable, and occasionally terrifying assignment, and to amazing editors Jessica Tang, @handheldproductions and @kristen.geisler. I’ll post a few more outtakes here in the coming days, and link in my bio.

The very first time I went to Africa and started working as a journalist, I went to visit my brother in Rwanda back in 2006. Before that trip, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in this world. After, I decided to move to Kampala for six months. I ended up living in Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria for nearly a decade.

It's impossible to overstate his importance in my life as well as my career, so I was so honored when @grantmgordon asked me to be on his podcast DISPLACED with @voxmedia and @theIRC. I hope you'll give a listen to hear backstory on our family and how we both began this kind of work, observe our similar verbal ticks, and learn a little about the parallel challenges we face in the aid world and media.

Link in bio // gratuitous little kid pix to encourage listening and past-present visualization.

Big thanks to @golda.arthur for making us both sound decent ❤️

NYC: please join @nina_berman @misstessowen and me for a panel on the ethics of covering extremism. I don’t think there are clear answers on this one, but an engaged dialogue is the only way to start seeking them.
Event is FREE. Register here:

I've spent the past few days with the Guidry family here in Opelousas, LA, whose resilience and forgiveness are endless <3 Please read this great piece by @LEBassett in @thedailybeast about her hometown and how hate crimes and arson might burn down buildings, but, as the Guidrys say, a church is more than a building. Link in my bio. Big thanks to the Guidrys for the crawfish etouffe, ribs, cake, and of course, deep warmth and open arms.
Love wins today, fights the good fight again tomorrow. #aftermathproject2019

Yesterday I got some of the toughest questions I’ve ever had to attempt to answer from this fifth grade class in Washington DC. The fact that it was so hard for me to explain why I couldn’t do more for the kids I was photographing isn’t about a lack of understanding on the part of the DC fifth graders about conflict, governance, aid and media, but is actually about the collective failure of all of us to do more. Thanks for keeping it real kids and reminding me what matters most ❤️ and to the @pulitzercenter for the chance to do this work and share it in schools. PLUS THEY ASKED ME FOR MY AUTOGRAPH AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE FLATTERED.

One of the best parts of preparing for panels and talks about my work is going through old hard drives and finding gems like this woman’s excellent henna ⚫️ WASHINGTON DC FRIENDS - please come by @pressclubdc on Monday night 3/4 for a panel with @pulitzercenter and @savethechildren on the lives of children during conflict.

Monday night lights.

Temperature 🔺

Decorated village 🖤

A picture of former president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor on display at a photo studio in Monrovia in a frame with a poem about the circle of family growing stronger. Nostalgia for what never was, inflected by the price of subsidized rice, is a potent elixir.

Something new // something different // collaborating with @itsarchel

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