Emma Ignaszewski

Media Specialist, Seven Valleys Health Coalition
Cortland, NY, United States

About Emma


I love connections, the little things in life that line up, coincidence. It's how we make meaning of these connections that inspires me.

In 'Both Sides Now', Joni Mitchell sings, "I've looked at clouds from both sides now/From up and down, and still somehow/It's cloud illusions I recall/I really don't know clouds at all". This inspires me.

In an article about the criminal court case of a man who killed dozens in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway, Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote: "His testimony, his ideas, his conception of the world will turn to nothing. Possibly, he will be able to resist even that, but the trial is for us, not for him. We shall see him as he is, a human being like you and me, and we shall see what he has done. And we shall try to understand. The dangerous thing is the distance, the confusing of the picture of the world with the real world, the turning away from the other person. And it is this that the court case, with its emphasis on formalities and its equality of treatment, confronts. Our task is to witness it, to allow the weight of reality to break through the picture and correct it. And never, never the reverse." This inspires me.

There's an Alfred Steiglitz photograph (http://l-aquoiboniste.blogspot.com/2009/09/les-mains-de-georgia.html) of Georgia O'Keefe's hands on the skull of an animal. The emotion is palpable. This inspires me.

These all have a similar tone, to me. There's something about their engagement with the texture of life, the realness of it. These inspire me not simply because they have depth, but because they require me to have depth, in thinking about them.

I strive to think and act with depth, with inspiration, with texture and realness.



TED Conference

TEDActive 2015

An idea worth spreading

Some houses are more breathtaking abandoned than they ever could have been inhabited. I think deserted structures are wondrous, and they're my favorite things to photograph and to write about. At essence, the emotion in an empty space that was once full of the familiar unknown is haunting and so conducive to the imagination. And sometimes it's easier to write about something that's a vacant box, because it's a tangible vacant box that you can touch. You can watch the light filter through its glassless windows. And you can create stories for it, stories that never happened, but probably did, too.


Cornell University

Talk to me about


People don't know I'm good at

songwriting. The windows must be shut.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Emma Ignaszewski
Posted about 1 year ago
Kevin Briggs: The bridge between suicide and life
Bridges make marvels of technology and design – monuments of function and aesthetic that remind us how we have grafted together nature and culture. As we continue lifting roads over rivers, may we remain bridges for others, to pastures perhaps not greener, but still cut with the scent of hope.