Covid Diaries Photography Forum Virtual Lecture

Online ZOOM Lecture

With Lynn Johnson & John Stanmeyer

Part of the proceeds will be donated to Ecumenical Hunger Program of East Palo Alto, CA.


Join us for a conversation with National Geographic photographers Lynn Johnson and John Stanmeyer as they present their two parallel experiences of the current crisis: one on the frontline, in rural America, the other in the isolation of home.

Lynn Johnson has been documenting the life inside a small hospital on Whidbey Island, WA. While we are witnessing the ability of the coronavirus to destroy individual lives and the fabric of our global communities at an alarming rate, there is another critical story playing out in the rural areas of America.

Covid-19 is also killing the rural health centers and hospitals that serve millions of people across the country. It is projected that a quarter of rural hospitals will be forced to close due to the extreme financial and social pressures created by the Covid-19 crisis. This is a project about the future—subtle and profound ways that the coronavirus is threatening life in rural America. Welcome to Whidbey Island.

John Stanmeyer has been sheltering in place in his home in Great Barrington, MA and has been documenting his life, in his project ’24 Windows’. Every person on earth today is experiencing an impact that will last for decades and generations to come. Much of what is occurring is internal. At times a cleansing of the spirit, other moments in worry of the future.

With most of humanity sequestered in their homes in self-quarantine or mandatory quarantine, our outer world becomes viewed from the inner being of our existence through windows. Mystical portals to a world we no longer can safely enter.

How is this affecting us? What will be the long-term psychological and physical impact?
24 Windows represents a view of our world through the twenty-three windows of my home, a 120-year-old house left in disrepair by its previous inhabitants. The home, serving as neglect we’ve done to ourselves, our earth, the outer world holding promise for a better future.

I began sharing this project on Instagram at the end of the day that no longer has names. An outpouring from thousands of people I’ve never met who found comfort in these visual and written tomes has been extraordinary.

As important online news is for information of an invisible killer racing across our planet, we also need hope. Moments of beauty and kindness, within ourselves as a means to give balance during the most critical moments of our existence – within darkness, there still is light. 24 Windows is a narrative of photographs, videos and words that lifts and brings hope. A story that connects and belongs to all of us.


Lynn Johnson at Palo Alto Photography ForumLynn Johnson is regular contributor to National Geographic, known for finding beauty and meaning in difficult subjects. She collaborates with the people she portrays to honor their visions as well as her own, and she is not afraid to ask the tough questions. Her master’s thesis, as a Knight Fellow at Ohio University, probed the impact of hate crimes. As a teacher, Johnson encourages her students to ask tough questions too. Her work has been honored by World Press Photo, the Open Society Institute and the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, among others. Johnson was one of 11 female photographer included in the 2014 National Geographic project ‘Women of Vision’, that highlighted how “these women of vision have taken millions with them on assignment through the pages of National Geographic–and in the process have set a new standard for excellence that will continue to inspire for decades to come”.


John Stanmeyer at Palo Alto Photography ForumJohn Stanmeyer is an award-winning photojournalist, Emmy nominated filmmaker and educator, dedicated to social, humanitarian and political issues that define our times. For more than 15 years, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 19 stories, resulting in more than 14 covers. Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine. His years with Time resulted in 18 covers. In 2001, Stanmeyer co-founded with six of the world’s leading photojournalists, the prestigious VII Photo agency. Today VII represents more than 30 photographers from around the globe. Stanmeyer is an Emeritus member of VII and also is represented by Nat Geo Image Collection agency and is a member of Ripple Effects Images, a collective of artists and storytellers working on issues related to women, empowerment and equality. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Robert Capa award, POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year and the World Press Photo of the Year in 2014. John lives in the southern Berkshires of western Massachusetts.


June 11, 2020

6:00 pm PST
Online ZOOM meeting


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