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Photographer and filmmaker Carolyn Jones

Trish Kerlé interviews photographer and documentary filmmaker Carolyn Jones, whose projects seek to promote cross-cultural understanding and global citizenry.

Carolyn Jones in black outfit and gray and black scarf

Photo: Adam Schwartz/WFIU

Carolyn Jones

If you’re going to spend your life asking people to share their stories, and to tell you their innermost thoughts when you’ve got a camera and a light and a microphone in their face, then I have to be able to do that too. 

Carolyn Jones has spent the past eight years traveling the globe as artistic director and co-founder of the 100 People Project, creating portraits of 100 people who statistically represent the global population.

She has created short documentary videos on such topics as a Navajo teenager who developed solar ovens, frontline health workers in India, and a high school student in Malaysia who developed an organic battery out of a local plant.

Jones’ books of photographs include The American Nurse, Microsoft: Heroes Happen Here, Every Girl Tells a Story: A Celebration of Girls Speaking their Minds, The Family of Women: Voices Across the Generations, and Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS.

  • SADouglas

    I can’t say for sure that certain Amish communities don’t hold the belief that photography “steals your soul,” but this seems a confusion by Jones. Here is something from PBS’s American Experience.

    2. What about photography and videography? The film shows Amish people, but also says they cannot be photographed.
    Amish churches forbid individuals to pose for face-on photos for two reasons. First, they cite the second of the Bible’s Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not make… any graven image, or any likeness of any thing….” (Exodous 20:14). Second, in a communal society that values humility, posing for photos is a sign of pride that calls attention to oneself and rubs against Amish beliefs about the importance of deferring and yielding to others.

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