For the last 10 years, New School alumna Laura Poitras has taken what some would view as extreme steps to protect her privacy. She’s encrypted most of her emails, limited conversations on her cell phone, and left many of her work laptops with friends rather than travel with them. For good reason.
Since graduating from the bachelor’s program at The New School for Public Engagement in 1996, the filmmaker has gone on to document and expose U.S. government deeds concerning some of the last decade’s most controversial issues. Poitras’ recent films take a deeper look into the early years of the U.S. occupation in Iraq, a doctor’s account of visiting Abu Ghraib prison and its aftermath, and a profile on Guantanamo prisoner Salim Hamdan. According to her, this commitment to showing the truth to the public has landed her on a few government watch lists and investigations.
A more recent project, however, has shot the normally behind-the-scenes photographer into the spotlight. Poitras’ initial contact and video interview with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden eventually led to the Guardian writing about many of his surveillance secrets. The New York Times Magazine writes of this exchange in a detailed profile. Read about it here.
Learn more about Laura Poitras here.