Lynsey Addario: The Other Side of the Lens

Lynsey Addario: The Other Side of the Lens

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who combines the eye of an artist with a journalistic rigor as she covers conflicts in Afghanistan, Darfur, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere in startling and unexpected ways. She not only photographs combatantsalthough she does that very well—but she also trains her camera on the daily struggles of civilians caught in war, so she can tell the whole story about these conflict zones. Since her first trip to Afghanistan in 2000, Addario has focused particular attention on women living in male-dominated societies, gaining access to their schools, hospital rooms, and homes, and composing photographs that are vivid—often alive with color and movement and a beauty that is deeply human.
Her work appears regularly in the New York Times and National Geographic as well as having been exhibited in museums throughout the world. Her ability to harness her creativity in often dire and dangerous conditions also has been recognized—she was awarded both a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Addario has also written a book about her experiences as a photographer covering war titled It’s What I Do, which comes out in paperback on November 8. On a recent trip to the United States, she stopped by the NEA studios to share her thoughts about photojournalism and the creative process.
All photographs by Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario photograph by Kursat Bayhan
Book Jacket Photo: Michael Goldfarb

Music Credits:

“Day Two” composed and performed by Paul Rucker and Hans Teuber from the cd, Oil. Music is available for download at

“Foreric Piano Study,”  and “Desolation” composed and performed by Todd Barton, from the cd Metascapes, used courtesy of Valley Productions.

"I Won't Go to Bed," composed and performed by Adhitia Sofyan.

“Rivers,” composed and performed by A.J. Racy and James Peterson, from the cd, When the Rivers Met.

“The Second Baghdad” composed and performed by 2015 National Heritage Fellow Rahim Alhaj.