by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Award-winning photojournalist and environmental activist Orin Langelle will share his images from Shawnee National Forest protests of more than two decades ago as part of a presentation this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Langelle will present “Portraits of Struggle: Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice” during a visiting artist lecture at 6:30 p.m., March 19 in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Langelle, of Buffalo, New York, describes his work of more than four decades as a “historical look at social movements” where he documents topics that include struggles of communities, activists, workers, women and Native Americans against:

  • Racisim.
  • War.
  • Ecological devastation.
  • False solutions to climate change.
  • Economic domination.
  • Human rights abuses.

Has held several exhibitions and earned awards

Some of Langelle’s awards include the CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition Award in January 2017 and two awards from Environmental Action Magazine in the late 1980s for “recognition of photographic excellence in exploring humanity’s effect on the earth and the action to protect the environment.”

Langelle’s blog is listed by Feedspot as one of the top 50 photojournalism blogs as of January 2019.

Decades of photographic experience

Langelle’s far-reaching work covers a numerous interests. Those include:

  • Protests against the Vietnam War during the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida.
  • Working behind rebel lines to document struggles of the EZLN in Mexico, and co-producing the film, Lacandona: The Zapistas and Rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico.”
  • Forest protections campaign from Illinois to Chile, including the Shawnee National Forest.

Documenting struggles around the world

Cade Bursell, a professor in SIU’s cinema and photography program, said Langelle’s “powerful presentation” includes work that documents “struggles from around the globe.”

“Langelle uses the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological justice,” she said.

Event has several sponsors

Sponsors include the SIU Student Fine Arts Activity Fee, Department of Cinema and Photography, Mass Communication and Media Arts’ Deans’ office, the School of Journalism, SAFE, Sierra Club Shawnee Group, and the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois.