Gillian Laub

Gillian Laub is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in comparative literature before studying photography at the International Center of Photography, where her love of visual storytelling and family narratives began.

Laub’s first monograph, Testimony (Aperture, 2007), began as a response to the media coverage during the second intifada in the Middle East, and a desire to create a dialogue between apparent enemies. This work is comprised of portraits and testimonies from Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Lebanese, and Palestinians all directly and indirectly affected by the complicated geopolitical context in which they lived.

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Laub spent over a decade working in Georgia exploring issues of lingering racism in the American South. This work became Southern Rites, Laub’s first feature length documentary film which she directed and produced along with musician John Legend for HBO. Southern Rites premiered on HBO in May 2015.  Her monograph, Southern Rites (Damiani, 2015) and travelling exhibition by the same title came out in conjunction with the film and are being used for an educational outreach campaign in schools and institutions across the country. Southern Rites was named one of the best photo books of 2015 by TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue, LensCulture, and American Photo. It was also nominated for a Lucie award and Humanitas award.

“Riveting…In a calm, understated tone, Southern Rites digs deep to expose the roots that have made segregated proms and other affronts possible. Southern Rites is a portrait of the inequities that lead to disaster on the streets of cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.” – The New York Times

Laub has been interviewed on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Times Talks and numerous others.  Laub contributes to many publications including TIME and The New York Times Magazine. Her work is collected and exhibited internationally.

On the commercial side, Gillian has shot campaigns for brands such as PUMA, Airbnb, Fusion and ESPN.

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American Photography – 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005
Humanitas Prize Finalist – 2015
Social Impact Media Awards – 2015
Lucie Award Nominee – 2015
Photo District News Photo Annual – 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009
Aaron Siskind Grant – 2014
Arnold Newman Portrait Prize – 2014
Prix de la Photographie Paris – 2008
Art Directors Club Annual – 2008
Aperture Foundation Emerging Artist Award – 2007
PDN Nikon Storytellers Award – 2005
World Press Photo Joop Swart Master

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