While violence might be the only thing depicted in times of trouble or war, it’s not the whole picture. That’s what photographer Ami Vitale learned in places like Kosovo and Gaza. At the age of 26, Vitale quit her office job in Manhattan to go abroad and make a difference. There, she got a job as a photographer for a business journal when war broke out nearby, instantly altering her course and putting her on the path to becoming a well-known war photographer. Tasked with photographing violence, Vitale focused on the frontlines, but saw other stories not being told. She found the moments that really touched her were the life-affirming ones. Sometimes in plain view, sometimes hidden away, the stream of humanity flowed. In this National Geographic talk, Vitale asks the question, "What if we chose to illuminate the things that unite us as human beings, rather than just the things that divide us?"


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  • World-Citizen

    Great story. Thanks for sharing it. Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahai Faith, wrote "So powerful is the light of Unity that it can illuminate the whole Earth.

  • Mary

    Mr. Wonderful says it all for me! (visiting my 88 year old father who used to bring flowers to Mom and then to me). The power of photography and beauty told by a courageous and eloquent woman.... Thanks be to All who were a part of this story.

  • Marilyn Peppin

    YHour work is absolutely what our world needs: to focus on what what inspires us,\unites us and helping us see the beauty in people from other countries and traditions.

  • Tejas Doshi

    Kudos Ami! Great shots capturing the spirit of joy amidst violence!

  • Victoria

    Your very important work reminds me of the drawings of Kathe Kolwitz who drew the scenes amidst World War I.

  • Joseph

    This offering leaves me essentially speechless, "inarticulate with thanks,"as a poet once put it... but I must also articulate my gratitude to you, Ami, and all of you at Karma Tube for bringing the heart of our humanity forth in such a moving and transformative way...

  • Patrick

    Find life, be life. Be life, find life. }:- ❤️ anonemoose monk

  • Christa

    So beautiful, full of courage, respect and love for people. This has made my day , thank you.

  • Greg

    This touched me deeply, the humanity in the midst of the storm, the hope and resilience of everyday people...and the question that arises, can I be the change...few years back I started to write a song.... When the war comes, Will you look back and give thanks, For the peaceful days we have known, For in the shadow of the gun, There’s no peace for anyone, Just moments of reprieve before the bloodshed. Time there was more than just moments of reprieve..

  • Ellen Whitehead

    I needed this today! After another mass school shooting, this video reignited my hope in humanity. Yes, behind all the sadness, turmoil, struggles in humanity (the shadows), there is always a light that illuminates. Thank you!

  • sunita

    Beautiful, I can totally relate to the Kashmir story as i was there for sometime.

  • Page 1

  • View more stunning and thoughtful photo stories by Ami Vitale.
  • Find out where people are being displaced by war and conflict worldwide and learn how to help.
  • As you browse the internet today, think not just of the action in the pictures you see but of the human behind the lens, the organization that bought the picture, and the many stories that didn't make it to your first page.

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