Biography of a Photo

Two iconic photographs of conflict shape the course of history and inspire a quest for justice.   

This feature-length documentary film traces the life stories, the biographies, of two iconic images—one taken in Panama (1989), the other in Bosnia (1992)—that have led extraordinary existences.

After their initial dissemination in the news, these two photos “grow up” and reappear in other, unexpected spheres of society; they are also, shockingly, subject to institutionalized disappearances. And amidst these twists and turns of the photos’ histories exist two individuals whose lives were forever changed by the events captured on film. To this day, Manuel from Panama and Alma from Bosnia are using the iconic photos in a painful search for justice. 

Meet the Directors

Ron Haviv is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning photographer and co-founder of the agency VII, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. In the last three decades, Haviv has covered more than twenty-five conflicts and worked in over one hundred countries. He has published four critically acclaimed collections of photography, and his work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Lauren Walsh is a professor and writer. She teaches at The New School and New York University, where she is the Director of Gallatin’s Photojournalism Lab. Walsh is coeditor of The Future of Text and Image (2012) and Millennium Villages Project (2016), and editor of Macondo: Memories of the Colombian Conflict (2017). Her forthcoming book is Conversations on Conflict Photography (2019), and she is Project Director of Lost Rolls America, a national public archive of photography and memory.

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