Personal note: I hope you are moved in some way by the photographs on this website.
I take my responsibility as a concerned photographer very seriously. I eschew the concept of objectivity; photojournalism should present truth. Great journalists like John Reed and photojournalists like Robert Capa told the truth, and did not worry about being “objective.” The trend toward “objective” journalism, where both sides must be represented, where the truth must be counterbalanced by the untruth has no place in a just society, especially when corporate propaganda already dominates so much of the media.
As the late photographer Milton Rogovin stated, “The rich have their own photographers.”
The work depicted on this website is a small representation of over four decades of my photography. Langelle Photography is an on-going project. I will add material as I go through my work, cataloguing and archiving. My photographs are not only historical documentation of peoples’ struggles, but also present a sociological and anthropological record of what I have seen.
In my travels on this planet, I have seen a lot. I have witnessed the beauty of this Earth and the efforts of many peoples striving for justice, and I have seen the ugliness of the abuse of people and the land—dictated by the greed of the power elite and those who serve them.
Yes, photojournalism should present truth. Striving for truth is a great motivator.
-Orin Langelle, revised 25 April 2014
Foto Biografía (español abajo)
As a concerned photographer I document a wide range of topics, cultures, ecosystems and geographies. Topics include the struggles of communities, activists, workers, women and Indigenous Peoples–against racism, war, ecological devastation, false solutions to climate change, economic domination, and human rights abuses.
I approach my role as concerned photographer by not merely documenting these struggles, but by being an active part in them. This has enabled me to garner the trust of many of the subjects I have documented, allowing me access that would not have been possible otherwise. In this way, I have been able to expose the truth that is so often hidden by the powers of injustice.
My work is an historical look at social movements, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social, economic and ecological injustice. This is not merely a chronicling of history, but a call out to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a new history. For there has been no time when such a call has been so badly needed.
- Bachelor of Arts (Communications—Media Studies) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO (1978)
- Photojournalism Internship at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan with Cornell Capa, brother to renowned war photographer Robert Capa, co-founder of Magnum Photo Agency (1977-1978)
1982-1985: Opened and ran commercial photography studio in St. Louis, Missouri; freelanced for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine and other publications
1992-2001: Co-founder and Photographer, Native Forest Network International; Coordinator, NFN Eastern North American Resource Center
1998-2001: Co-founder, Director, Photographer, ACERCA (Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America)
2003- Present: Co-Founder, Board Member, Consultant and Photographer, Global Justice Ecology Project
2007-2009: Media Coordinator and Photographer, Global Forest Coalition
2012-Present: Founder and Director Langelle Photography
2014-2017: Co-founder, ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art
2014-Present: Co-founder, Photographer, International Steering Committee member, Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees
Select Photographic Experience:
- Covered protests against the Vietnam War at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach (1972)
- Worked behind rebel lines to document the struggle of the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) in Mexico. Co-produced the film Lacandona: The Zapatistas and Rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico to expose the links between the destruction of the resource-rich Lacandon rainforest and the conflict of the government and the Zapatistas (1996-2011)
- Documented land occupations by the Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST) and indigenous Tupinikim and Guarani communities in Brazil (2005)
- Photographed primeval forests and Indigenous Mayangna and Miskito communities of Nicaragua (1997-2003)
- Covered struggles by Indigenous Peoples for autonomy and land rights, including Mapuche in Chile, Abenaki in Vermont, Ayoreo in Paraguay, Maya and other Indigenous Peoples of the Lacandon jungle in Chiapas, Mexico, Cree and Inuit of James Bay, Quebec, and the Indigenous Peoples of Indonesia and Kenya (1992-2017)
- Documented forest protection campaigns from Illinois to Chile (1987-Present)
- Photographed efforts by activists, Indigenous Peoples, social movements, women and front line communities for just outcomes at national and international fora including UN climate summits [Buenos Aires, Argentina 2004, Montreal, Canada 2005, Nairobi, Kenya 2006, Bali Indonesia 2007, Poznan, Poland 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark 2009, Cancún, Mexico 2010, Durban, South 2011] • UN Biodiversity Conventions [Curitiba, Brazil 2006, Rome, Italy 2008, Bonn, Germany 2008] • World Bank meetings [Washington, DC 1996-2001] • U.S. Democratic and Republican Conventions [Boston 2004, Manhattan, 2004] • World Water Forum [Mexico City 2006] • World Social Forum [Nairobi, Kenya 2007, Belém, Brazil 2009] • G8 and G20 [Rostock, Germany 2007, Pittsburgh, PA 2009] • World Trade Organization [Cancun, Mexico 2003] • Free Trade Area of the Americas [Toronto, Canada 1999, Burlington, VT 2001, Miami, FL 2003]
- Currently cataloging and archiving my four and a half decades of concerned photography
La Jornada • USA Today • Z Magazine (including five covers) • Christian Science Monitor • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Buffalo News • Buffalo Spree Magazine • Earth Island Journal • Yes! Magazine • Race Poverty & the Environment • New Internationalist • The Progressive • Camera 35 • International Socialist Review • Seedling • Radical Anthropology • leftturn • Upstream Journal • Paris Life (now Paris Voice) • Native Americas • NACLA • Earth First! Journal • GAiA • St. Louis Magazine • Multinational Monitor • ROBBIN WOOD MAGAZINE • Changing the Flow • Just Change-Critical Thinking on Global Issues • Vermont Times • Seven Days • Burlington Free-Press • Toward Freedom • The Collective • The Public • ArtVoice • East Aurora Advertiser
I have also been published in online outlets such as L’Œil de la Photographie, puroCHAMYUO|Cuadernos -DeCrisis, CounterPunch, Climate Connections, World War 4 Report, UpsideDown World and many others. Additionally, my work has been used in countless non-profit publications, newsletters and periodicals.
Learning from the Ground Up • Indigenous Knowledge And Learning In Asia/Pacific And Africa • Towards Climate Justice • Lives of Straw • Alphabet of Bones • Learning Activism – The Intellectual Life of Contemporary Social Movements (cover and inside photography)
My current photo exhibit, Portraits of Struggle opened as a one-person show at CEPA Gallery (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center), 26 January– 24 February 2018, Buffalo, NY. Portraits of Struggle is now online at https://photolangelle.org2018/02/images-for-portraits-of-struggle/.
A complete list of my exhibits can be found in Addendum (below)
- CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition Award Winner, Buffalo, NY (January 2017)
- Top 50 Photojournalism Blogs, awarded by Feedspot (2017-Present)
- Artist of the Month featured in TheArtList.com (September 2013)
- Artist in Residence: Blue Mountain Center, NY (Summer 2011)
- Two Environmental Action Magazine awards for “…recognition of photographic excellence in exploring humanity’s effect on the earth and action to protect the environment.” (1988 and 1989)
Member, National Press Photographers Association. For many years a member of the National Writers Union and International Federation of Journalists.
I attempt to capture, what noted photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson describes as ‘the decisive moment.’ To me this decisive moment is the instant a visual image is recorded—when light, composition and the subject unite; and in less than a second, a truth is revealed, a visual message. As a concerned photographer, my goal is not just to document and expose the harsh reality of injustice—much of which is linked with the struggle for the land—but to inspire viewers to participate in changing the world, while helping empower those striving for justice because they know that photographs of their struggle are revealed to a larger audience.
References upon request
Exhibitions in 2017:
Are Humans Disappearing • May 5 – May 26 • ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY • The exhibit first premiered in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark
CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center) • 27 January 4 – March • Buffalo, NY • Langelle was the CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition Award Winner and won a solo exhibit at CEPA in 2018
If Voting Changed Things • 7 October –2 December • ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY
Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change • 9 – 14 August • Six photos included in this group exhibition at Forum Social Mondial 2016 World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada. Exhibit previously shown • 5 March – 29 April • at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY
Gordon Parks: Collages by Peter Beard • 18 January – 28 May • Includes seven photographs from my exhibit, The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise, Revisited • Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, NY
Climate Change—Realities and Resistance • 7 – 11 December • Six photos from the Langelle Photography collection featured in a group exhibition in Paris’ Climate Action Zone during the UN Climate Conference, Paris, France
The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise, Revisited • 9 October – 17 December 2015 • ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, Buffalo, NY
You Can’t Print That! 50 Years of The Fifth Estate • 11 September 2015 – 3 January 2016 • One photograph displayed in the Museum of Contemporary Art – Detroit • Detroit, MI.
Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s • 3 April – 19 June • ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Climate Change: Faces, Places & Protest: Photos from the front lines of the fight for climate and social justice • 3 October – 19 December • ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, Buffalo, NY
#SeeMeTakeOver Times Square: • 24 July 2014 • Three photos from the Langelle Photography collection were featured in a group exhibition projected over Times Square, NYC
The Bali, Indonesia Exhibit • 3 – 6 December • Ninth Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) • 2013 • People’s Global Camp against the WTO in Denpasar – Bali, Indonesia
The Warsaw, Poland Exhibit • 18 – 23 November • UN Climate Conference, High Level Sessions • IBON International booth • National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
El Dia de los Muertes (Day of the Dead) Group Exhibit • 2 November – 15 November • Two photographs in the exhibit • Casa de Arte Gallery • Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibit • El Buen Amigo, Buffalo, NY
CHIAPAS (Special showing for Global Justice Ecology Project fundraiser) • 29 August • Video Cafe • Winooski, VT
The Story of the Creative: International Exhibition • 25 July –10 September • Three photographs included • Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art, NYC, NY
CHIAPAS: Resistance and Renewal • 22 June to 28 July • Casa de Arte Gallery • Buffalo, NY
Kids With Cameras: Through Their Eyes • Friday 26 July • West Hertel Academy • Included were two photographs (part of a youth training session), Buffalo, NY
Amador Hernandez • May • An exhibit of my photographs taken in the indigenous village of Amador Hernandez were displayed in the village community center, in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. I was the first photographer to be invited by that community to take photographs in several years. Amador Hernandez was under imminent threat of forced relocation
Share the Eye • An exhibit of these photographs, taken in the Ayoreo indigenous community, Campo Loro in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay, was shown inside the community. It was the result of an invitation by the Ayoreo Indigenous People to come into their territory to photograph and “share the eye” • I was the only photographer invited by the Ayoreo in recent years to take photographs of their community and lands.
2004 – 2009:
My photography has also been displayed in New York City, Boston, Washington, DC, Madison (WI), Santa Cruz (CA), Eugene (OR), Hinesburg, Burlington and Plainfield (VT) in two traveling exhibits:
Corporate Globalization Vs Global Justice: Part II: The Struggle Continues
Corporate Globalization vs. Global Justice Guerrilla Photo Exhibit
Nicaragua and Chiapas: Struggle for the Land: • September – October • Photographs of two territories inhabited by different Indigenous Peoples who share the same struggle against the colonization and destruction of their traditional lands • Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT