Ami Vitale

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Ami Vitale at the World Press Photo Festival 2018

Ami Vitale (born 1971 ) is an American photojournalist and documentary filmmaker . She works for National Geographic and lives in Montana .

life and work

Vitale studied international studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then completed a master's degree at the University of Miami . After graduating, she worked as a picture editor for the Associated Press in New York and Washington. There the desire arose to explore the world photographically. She went to Czechoslovakia and made reports from there about Eastern Europe.

In 1995 she visited her sister in Guinea-Bissau , who was then working there for the Peace Corps . A comprehensive photographic documentation developed from this in 2001, which could be created with the help of the Alexia Foundation for World Peace . She lived for six months in a mud hud , a mud hut , together with a woman named Fama and her children, shared her life, ate and slept with them and helped them cope with everyday life. Ten years later she returned and reported on the start of her career as a photojournalist, on land mines, corruption and drug cartels: Guinea-Bissau is a forgotten state. [Guinea-Bissau is a forgotten state.]

After Guinea-Bissau, Vitale spent a few years in India, from where she designed reports from Kashmir and Gujarat . Her work has since gained international recognition and has been featured in well-known publications including Geo , National Geographic , New York Times , Newsweek , Smithsonian and Time . "Ami Vitale manages to tell very personal stories in a sensitive way," writes National Geographic. She visited more than ninety countries, captured images, cultures and people from different regions, reported on poverty in developing countries such as Ethiopia , on the cultures of Nepal and Kashmir that were foreign to the West, and on political and religious conflicts. Increasingly, Vitale also dealt with the relationship between humans and animals, photographing elephants and snow leopards, in order to document the relationships between humans and man-eating lions. She is particularly interested in animal species that are threatened with extinction, such as the white rhinoceros . White Rhino , or the giant panda . With her work she would like to contribute to the conservation of the species.

Vitale's work has been and is regularly shown in museums and galleries around the world. Together with her colleagues Alexandra Boulat , Heidi Levine and Kate Brooks , she took part in the exhibition Woman War Photographers . While Boulat showed pictures of the crumbling Yugoslavia, Levine portrayed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Brooks presented pictures from Afghanistan and Iraq, Vitale's contribution was dedicated to Kashmir and its people. Your work has received several awards. The photographer regularly shares her experiences as the leader of workshops in Europe, America and Asia.

In 2011 she appeared in the third episode of the documentary television series Over the Islands of Africa in Madagascar .


“At the beginning of my work, photography was a passport that enabled me to meet people, learn and experience other cultures. Today it is more than a passport - a means to arouse awareness and understanding for different cultures, a means to sharpen the sense of the similarities in the world we share. "

- Ami Vitale : From their website


Vital's work has been recognized by a number of institutions including World Press Photo , the National Press Photographers Association, and Picture of the Year International . The photographer was also awarded the Magnum grant , in memory of Magnum photographer Inge Morath , and the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant , which also included an exhibition in Perpignan , France .

  • 2001 National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism
  • 2003: Best of Photojournalism , Magazine Photographer of the Year
  • 2014: Best of Photojournalism, honorable mention in the Environment Picture Story category
  • 2014: Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship
  • 2014: The Aftermath Project
  • 2015: Best of Photojournalism, second place in each of the categories Environment (Nature, Wildlife) and Environment Picture Story
  • 2015: World Press Photo , Nature, second prize singles


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b War Photo Limited: Woman War Photographers , accessed October 14, 2016.
  2. Susan Markisz: Ami Vitale: Getting Beyond the Headlines , The Digital Journalist, Jan. 2003, accessed on 14 October 2016th
  3. Ami Vitale: Rediscovering the Soul of a Forgotten Land , Nikon, At the heart of the image, accessed October 15, 2016.
  4. ^ National Geographic Germany : Ami Vitale ( memento of October 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) , accessed on October 14, 2016.
  5. My Dream for Animals: Ami Vitale ( Memento August 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) , accessed on October 15, 2016.
  6. CNN (Atlanta): Saving the giant panda population through photography , September 28, 2016, accessed October 15, 2016.
  7. Across the Islands of Africa - Episode Guide , accessed November 28, 2018