W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fellow (2005) Robin Bowman has worked as a freelance photojournalist for 25 years, documenting the most poignant international social and political issues of our time.
Bowman's photographs have appeared in publications worldwide, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Life, Time, Newsweek, and the German Stern, among others, demonstrating her fierce, heartfelt commitment to creating concern for the human condition by covering major upheavals and the aftermath of crises in an attempt to understand how such things come to pass. Her coverage has included: "The Fate of the Missing in Guatemala," "The Fight Against Child Abuse in America," and "Life After Genocide in Rwanda." Bowman spent six years living on and off with the Zapatista National Liberation Army in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. Her magazine and book projects have also taken her to places like Haiti, Bosnia, Israel, Peru, Nepal, Uganda, and Cuba, to name only a handful.
Bowman's latest book, It’s Complicated: The American Teenager (Umbrage Editions, Nov. 2007), pairs portraits and stunningly candid interviews with over 400 teens around the United States. The entire collection of 263 portraits and transcripts was recently purchased by the New York Public Library for its permanent collection, with the intention of mounting an exhibition. The library’s curator of photography compared the collection to the Depression-era documentary work of the legendary WPA and FSA. The book is the Gold Medal winner in the Best Book Photography category of the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards.
Bowman headed the photography department at Friends Seminary in Manhattan for two years. Now, working with the social justice issues raised by It's Complicated, Bowman gives presentations and runs workshops to promote critical thinking, awareness of stereotypes, and tolerance of others for students and teachers.