Cree Elder Women, Whapmagoostui, Hudson Bay (1993)

About Langelle Photography

I am a concerned photographer whose work spans five decades and six continents. Langelle Photography provides a home for these documentary photographic images concerning social, ecological and economic struggles. The site is designed for editors/researchers, magazines, newspapers, movies, art directors, gallery representatives, book publishers, writers/journalists, collectors or nonprofit or grassroots social justice/environmental organizations. And, of course, for use as an educational resource to make sure that peoples’ histories are kept alive. (Please contact orin@langellephoto.org for details and rates.)



I attempt to capture, what noted photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson describes as ‘the decisive moment.’ To me this decisive moment is the instant a visual image is recorded—when light, composition and the subject unite; and in less than a second, a truth is revealed, a visual message.

Why Concerned Photography

“The concerned photographer finds much in the present unacceptable which he tries to alter. Our goal is simply to let the world also know why it is unacceptable”– Cornell Capa (1918-2008). Cornell Capa was a photographer for Magnum Photos, former Executive Director of the International Center of Photography (ICP) in Manhattan, and the brother of famous war photographer Robert Capa. Robert was one of the founders of Magnum Photos. Cornell was Langelle’s mentor when Orin was at the ICP.

Cornell Capa in front of the International Center of Photography, 94th St. and Fifth Ave., Manhattan. For Camera 35’s “House on 94th St” 1977

Our Team

Orin Langelle

Director

Award winning photographer who has taken photos for over 50 years across six continents. He currently is working on his archives.

Anne Petermann

Creative Consultant

With an extensive background in forest protection and human rights work, Anne is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project as well as an artist and photographer.

Steve Taylor

Press Agent/Videographer

Steve Taylor is a digital content creator, podcaster and videographer. Taylor has worked professionally as a media liaison for decades, with 12 years of Capitol Hill experience. As an environmental activist, Taylor worked to preserve the Shawnee National Forest, founded the Times Beach Action Group and now works as Press Secretary for Global Justice Ecology Project.

Langelle Photography is part of the Global Justice Media Program of Global

Justice Ecology Project

Learn More

Photographer Statement

Woman holding photo of baby whose condition is blamed on the dumping of agrotoxins is shown during a rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 December 2014

As a concerned photographer my work is mainly concentrated on documenting images pertaining to social, ecological and economic issues. Showing how they are intrinsically linked is crucial to understanding the whole –to seeing the big picture – instead of compartmentalizing each separately – as everything is interconnected. The root causes of these problems are often one and the same.

To find these root causes, I look not just at the present but also my past work. Those photographs are historical documentation and present a sociological and an anthropological record of realities I have witnessed.

My work is an historical look at social movements, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the historical or societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer –especially with regard to the real history of social, economic and ecological struggles.

I attempt to show the hidden or forgotten history of which many are not aware. Truths that powerful entities cover up or falsify for their own ends – truths displaced by a more ‘respectful’ or sanitized history – a falsified, commodified version of reality that elites want society to believe – the dominant social organization of forgetting.

History is a great teacher – if, in fact, presented truthfully.

Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art says, “Photographs can bear witness to history and even serve as catalysts for change. They can foster sympathy and raise awareness or, alternatively, offer critical commentary on historical people, places, and events. Throughout the history of the medium, photographers have aimed to capture the essence of events they witnessed...”
The work depicted on this website is a small representation of fifty years of my photography. Langelle Photography is an on-going project. I will add material as I go through my work, cataloging and archiving.

My hope is that my documentary photography can be used to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer. This is not merely a chronicling of history, but a call out to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a new history. For there has been no time when such a call has been so badly needed.

Awards

  • CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition Award Winner, Buffalo, NY (January 2017)
  • Artist of the Month featured in TheArtList.com (September 2013)
  • Artist in Residence: Blue Mountain Center, NY (Summer 2011)
  • Two Environmental Action Magazine awards for “…recognition of photographic excellence in exploring humanity’s effect on the earth and action to protect the environment.” (1988 and 1989)
  • White Dove Award from the Rochester NY Committee on Latin America to Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann and Langelle for their work on Indigenous Peoples rights, native forests, Latin America and their use of concerned photography (March 2013)
  • Featured Artist, Lecturer and Presenter, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale IL (March 2018)
  • Featured Artist, Lecturer and Presenter, University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH (April 2019)

Endorsements

“Orin Langelle is one of the great documentarians of the last several decades of protest. You look at his photos and you cannot forget that power concedes nothing without a struggle…and that this struggle takes place somewhere, somehow, every day and everywhere. Thank you, Orin, for your photos and your commitment.”

Jeff Conant, Director, Friends of the Earth’s international forests program

“By sheer accident I stumbled on the one that summed up the entire Mexican experience I was attempting to convey: A man bearing a burden. The graffiti on the wall behind him bore a political message: Libertad a Presuntos Zapatistas. (Liberty to Suspected Zapatistas)“This was the Mexico I know and write about and Orin Langelle had captured more than an evocative image of the country. He had captured its soul.”

Diana Anhalt, writer, author, poet

“Orin Langelle’s unique work documents hidden and forgotten histories of the resistance against the war on the planet and the majority of its population. His images provide glimpses of possibilities– when ordinary people act collectively to fight imperialism, war and colonialism, and confront ecological devastation, to build a different world. Langelle’s inspiring photography simultaneously zooms in on the soul of the struggle, and zooms out to take us beyond the image in front of us, willing us to address the root causes at the heart of the matter, rather than offer band-aid solutions.”

Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal

“Orin Langelle has spent decades documenting what he refers to somewhat humorously as " the end of life as we know it.” As with many artists, I believe it will only be long after his demise that his images will be fully appreciated for their powerful and visionary documentation of the trail of destruction of both peoples and ecosystems.”

Rachel Smolker, author and co-director, Biofuelwatch

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