Kristen Ashburn's photographs bring us face-to-face with real people in desperate circumstances. Taking us to the intimate spaces of her subjects -- the victims of war, disaster, epidemic -- she elicits the sublime sadness and resolve of human beings in suffering.
Kristen Ashburn's poignant photographs bring us into close contact with individuals in the midst of enormous hardship -- giving a human face to struggles that much of the world knows only as statistics and blurbs on the news. She has photographed the people of Iraq a year after the U.S. invasion, Jewish settlers in Gaza, suicide bombers, the penal system in Russia, victims of tuberculosis and the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. One of her more recent works, BLOODLINE: AIDS and Family, looked at the human impact of AIDS in Africa.
Her unflinching photographs from the Middle East, Europe, and Africa have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, TIME, Newsweek, and Life. She has won numerous awards, including the NPPA's Best of Photojournalism Award and two World Press Photo prizes.
"Ashburn's photos tell volumes about the reality of AIDS for thousands of mothers, fathers, children and grandparents."Dr. Seth Berkley, President, The International AIDS Vaccine Intiative
“When I first arrived in beautiful Zimbabwe, it was difficult to understand that 35 percent of the population is HIV positive. It really wasn’t until I was invited to the homes of people that I started to understand the human toll of the epidemic.”