photo: Kate Warren
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, NY
Graduated: SUNY Purchase
Year of graduation: 2003
Area of study: New Media Photojournalism
Student membership: Corcoran Association of Photojournalists
Zoeann Murphy partners with international NGOs and community-based organizations to tell stories of struggle and hope through photography and video. After completing her BFA at SUNY Purchase, she taught photography to workers through Unseen America, a participatory photography program started by the Bread and Roses Cultural Project of 1199SEIU. The workshops were designed to help the unseen become seen with their own images and words.
Zoeann’s love of travel eventually brought her to India and Thailand, where she facilitated photography workshops with refugees. Her time there was life changing, and when she returned to the United States she took a position as field director of a refugee-resettlement agency and helped hundreds of people from war-torn countries begin new lives in America.
In 2012 she began the Corcoran’s New Media Photojournalism graduate program to strengthen her visual media skills. “The Corcoran is helping me weave together my various career paths and develop the necessary tools to tell important stories.” she says. “It’s amazing to be taught by professors currently working at places like USA Today and The Washington Post. I’m also so impressed by my talented colleagues in the program.”
In her recent projects, she traveled to Zambia with actress Debra Messing to help document the HIV/AIDS work of Population Services International. She has also been photographing, researching, and documenting the U Street neighborhood of Washington, D.C. She has chronicled a local cobbler who has been working in the area since he was 14 years old and worked with classmates on a group project about Ben’s Chili Bowl—a landmark where President Obama has eaten. “I lived in the U Street area for about a year and a half prior to studying at the Corcoran,” she explains, “but these photo and video projects have made me feel more connected and engaged with the neighborhood.”
Following her studies at the Corcoran, Zoeann would love to work as a visual journalist and continue with projects related displacement and global health. Some of her work can be seen on her website: www.ZoeannMurphy.com
photo: Debra Messing