Photojournalist Christine Germano presents her risky experiences

Christine Germano is the founder and director of the Constant Arts Society and the Artistic Director of the Portraits of Resilience project coordinated by Many Strong Voices / GRID Arendal. Germano has collaborated with Indigenous communities since 2000 but is best known for her photojournalism projects that focuses on the voices and images of young people whose futures are influenced by social and environmental issues. The project encourages youth to use photography and writing as a means to express themselves and their community, build self-confidence and empower themselves to be global citizens and mentors.

About the speaker

Christine Germano is the founder and director of the Constant Arts Society and the Artistic Director of the Portraits of Resilience project coordinated by Many Strong Voices / GRID Arendal. Germano has collaborated with Indigenous communities since 2000 but is best known for her photojournalism projects that focuses on the voices and images of young people whose futures are influenced by social and environmental issues. The project encourages youth to use photography and writing as a means to express themselves and their community, build self-confidence and empower themselves to be global citizens and mentors.

The international photojournalism project titled Portraits of Resilience has allowed her to work with indigenous youth to illustrate the personal and ethical effects of climate change on their communities. Since its creation in 2008, the project has occurred in 12 countries (29 communities) and was launched at the National Museum of Denmark during the COP 15 in 2009 and has continued to exhibit internationally. Christine is also a recipient of the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management through the Canada Council of the Arts. In May 2015 Germano was honoured with an Alumni Award from the OCAD University.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career? I define creativity as spontaneous, adaptable, inspiring and original. Some of the most stirring images develop as things are unfolding in the moment. I love documentary work and feel the more authentic it is the more compassionate the message will be.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration? In my home when it is totally empty. Going for a run in Upper Lynn Valley. Traveling alone, while collaborating and engaging with new people.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person? Time is short, real short. Start now and use your time wisely. And don’t let other people’s negative attitudes affect you. Just remind yourself that they are just jealous.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings? Steve McCurry, I like the way he thinks. McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.” facebook.com/stevemccurrystudios

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Breaking into the Coliseum and the Roman Forum at night when I was in my 3rd year of Art College with a bunch of American architecture students. I slid through a slightly wider gab on the edge of the spiked fences that enclosed the coliseum. Once inside we went up as far as we could and just watched the floor of the coliseum come alive as students’ lit candles. Dog sledding in Greenland is always raving mad. But without a doubt, the craziest thing I have done was traveling across the Siberian tundra by Vezdekhod in the melting month of June.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger? I am the Artistic Director of photojournalism projects that focus on the voices and images of young people whose futures are influenced by social and environmental issues.

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