Brendan Bannon | Teaching & Most Important Picture

Brendan Bannon is a photographer and teacher based between New York and Nairobi, Kenya. We talk about the work his students are showing at the JKC Gallery as part of The Mark and the Memory show curated by Ryann Casey. The work comes from a workshop taught by Brendan and Julian Chinana called Odyssey that is offered to combat veterans to help them process their experiences through the use of the camera. We talk about how Brendan suffered from depression while taking care of his mother who was suffering from MS and how photography helped him to stop time when he needed it to and also allowed him to re-engage with the world. We also talk about Brendan’s many other projects working with refugee children, children with AIDS, and the many NGO’s that he has worked with over the years.
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Brendan Bannon is a photographer and teacher based between New York and Nairobi, Kenya.
Bannon’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the Guardian, Monocle Magazine, KWANI?,  and other international publications.
His projects have been exhibited internationally at UN headquarters in New York, at Chautauqua Institution’s VACI galleries, The Burchfield Penney Museum and the Quick Center for the Arts. 
His educational projects include Daily Dispatches an innovative daily journalism and public art project made collaboratively with colleges in the USA. Dispatches featured a story a day from Nairobi beamed across the world, printed and shared in public space on American college campuses. 
Another  project, Do You See What I See? is an arts education initiative conducted through UNHCR for children in refugee camps, giving them voice and an opportunity to share stories through their own photography and writing. 
Brendan Bannon’s interest in photography was sparked by his mother, an amateur photographer with a darkroom in the bathroom, and his father, who placed him at age 10 in front of drawers of antique photographs and asked him to select the interesting ones for an exhibition on the history of photography.
During his 20’s Bannon ran a house painting business and took care of his mother who had multiple sclerosis, an experience he credits with informing his approach to photography. "I don’t shy away from difficult stories. The experience of taking care of my mother showed me clearly that behind every moment of perceived suffering there is a profound victory over circumstances. I look at people’s lives as being full of meaningful relationships, striving against the odds and achieving small victories."
Bannon also works regularly for International NGOs including Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNHCR, UNICEF and CARE International.