Reporting Inside the Great Firewall: Photographers on Covering China

Location: Photoville Pavilion

Date: Sunday, September 13th

Time: 1:00PM-2:00PM

Featuring: David Barreda (Moderator), Muyi Xiao, and Michael Yamashita

Presented By: ChinaFile

Many photojournalists rely on the basic protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press to move freely, to access their subjects, and to bring their images to the public. But what is it like to photograph and report in the People’s Republic, where censorship is the norm and journalists often face more restrictions than regular citizens? How do journalists and the organizations who support them navigate this system in order to continue sharing complex, comprehensive stories from within China?

Michael Yamashita, who has been photographing for National Geographic for over 30 years; Muyi Xiao, a former staff photographer for China’s news site Tencent; and David Barreda, Visuals Editor for ChinaFile will share their insights from reporting in China. The panel will be moderated by The Economist’s Gady Epstein, who has been reporting on China since 2002.

Related Exhibition
Yuyang Liu and Souvid Datta – Documentary China

david-barreda_0_WEB03David Barreda is the Visuals Editor for ChinaFile. Barreda worked as a staff photojournalist at the San Jose Mercury News, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Miami Herald. He holds a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and studied Geography and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Photographer Michael Yamashita Michael Yamashita has been shooting for the National Geographic magazine for over 30 years, combining his dual passions of photography and travel. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies, he spent seven years in Asia, which became his area of specialty. Yamashita is known for epic stories that retrace the paths of famous travelers, like Marco Polo, the Japanese poet Basho, and the Chinese explorer Zheng He.

Yamashita has received numerous industry awards: including Pictures of the Year, Photo District News, the New York Art Directors Club, and the Asian-American Journalists Association. He has had numerous exhibitions throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.

Yamashita has published ten books: Shangri-La [along the tea road to Lhasa], The Great Wall From Beginning to End; New York: Flying High; Zheng He — Tracing the Epic Voyages of China’s Greatest Explorer; Japan — The Soul of a Nation; Marco Polo — A Photographer’s Journey; Mekong — A Journey on the Mother of Waters; In the Japanese Garden; A Pictorial Tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Lakes, Peaks and Prairies: Discovering the U.S. Canadian Border.

While not traveling, Michael Yamashita lives with his family in rural New Jersey, where he maintains a studio and is an active volunteer fireman.

Muyi-Xiao_WEB01 While based in Beijing Muyi Xiao works as a photojournalist for Tencent, the biggest online media outlet in China. She covered the missing flight MH370, the Sinopec oil pipeline blast, a cult religion called ‘Mighty God’, among many other stories. She also worked and continues to work on long term documentary stories and multimedia projects covering topics like child brides in the Yunnan Province. Now, working as a fulltime freelancer she is focusing her efforts to become an independent storyteller.

Born in Wuhan, China, Xiao is a freelance photojournalist and storyteller. In 2015 she received a Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowship, which allowed her to join six other fellows from Haiti, Syria, Ukraine, South Africa, Palestine, and the Philippines to study at NYU’s Tisch school for the Arts over the summer. Xiao will continue her photographic education this fall at the International Center of Photography’s New Media Narratives program.

ChinaFile-Logo-Large ChinaFile is an online magazine published by the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, dedicated to promoting an informed, nuanced, and vibrant public conversation about China, in the U.S. and around the world.