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TED Talk: ‘Vagabond Photojournalist’ Kitra Cahana on the Homeless and Hidden


What is ‘freedom’? This seems to be one of the main questions at the center of photojournalist Kitra Cahana’s recent TED Talk in which she tells the stories of the nomadic, homeless youth she spent many months documenting.

While you or I might describe freedom within the bounds of cultural expectations about security and stability, the people in Cahana’s photographs do not. In the talk she argues for the validity of their point of view, describes the struggles they encounter, and comes to the poignant conclusion that not even these travelers, always on the move, can escape the daemons that haunt them — often the same daemons that inspired their nomadic lifestyle.

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American-born but raised in Canada and Sweden, Cahana describes herself as a “vagabond photojournalist.” She is a “wanderer,” a cross between a photographer and anthropologist whose background in philosophy and life-long desire to “run away” and live a nomadic lifestyle herself informs much of her photography and the opinions she expresses in the TED talk above.

It’s a fascinating way to spend 5 minutes of your day, whether or not you agree with her opinions about the subjects she photographs. And speaking of agreeing or disagreeing, feel free to let us know what you think of the presentation in the comments down below.