When journalists write about the exploits of an infantry unit in Iraq or Afghanistan and it doesn’t read like Neil Shea’s piece in the American Scholar, they are only giving you half the story ...
For the last six years, photographer Randy Olson and I have been documenting culture, change and conflict in the watershed that connects southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. In the August issue of National Geographic, we’ll publish our latest work, from Lake Turkana. But before that issue arrives in print, we’ve begun a new storytelling experiment on Instagram—pairing Randy’s photos with my short, true stories.
Far as we know, it’s the first collaborative storytelling done using the platform, and we’re hoping to draw attention to the people we met back when we began this project, in 2009. The intent is not to rehash what we’ve already done, or to add more normal journalism to the stacks, already plenty high. With these stories we’re aiming for something else—new work that pulls nearer to the art and poetry that inspire us, while also complementing and pushing documentary form. Please join us on Instagram across three accounts, @natgeo, @randyolson and @neilshea13, as we follow water through the desert.
Nowhere Girl | in The American Scholar
The Men Who Would Fly Forever | in National Geographic
Making Taliban | in The American Scholar
Castro's Cuba at 50 | in VQR | Winner of the Silver Lowell Thomas Award
Stumbling Towards Victory in Iraq | in VQR
Dispatches from Kenya, August 2013
Documentary work vs. Buzz kill :: Dispatch from Kenya, August 2013
Dispatch from Iraq: How Long Does Identity Last?
The View from an Iraqi Classroom :: May 2013
Behind the Story: Looking back at Iraq