National Geographic Celebrates Fotoweek

National Geographic will participate in the first annual celebration of Fotoweek DC next month with seven photography exhibitions at the National Geographic Museum and Smith Farm Center on U Street and three public lectures from the National Geographic Live! series.

Fotoweek DC is a citywide event Nov. 15-22, bringing together photographers, museums, universities and others involved in the photography profession in a celebration of the city’s vibrant and ever changing community. National Geographic is a Fotoweek DC platinum sponsor and will host the closing awards ceremony and gala on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Society headquarters.

The National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street, N.W.) will present four photography exhibitions during Fotoweek. “Odysseys and Photographs: Masters from the National Geographic Archives” (through Jan. 4, 2009) reveals the compelling stories of four legendary photographers whose work spanned the world during the 20th century. The book on which the exhibit is based is part of the new Focal Point series from National Geographic Books, celebrating the vision and style of individual photographers. A small “Focal Point” exhibit will showcase the work of that series’ other photographers: Alexandra Avakian, Sam Abell and Reza.

On the museum portico, “Whales: From the Depths of the National Geographic Collection” (through Jan. 18, 2009) features more than 30 of National Geographic’s stunning marine photographs and complements the interactive exhibition “Whales Tohorā,” currently in the museum’s main gallery. Additionally, the work of the 2008 All Roads photography program awardees Khaled Hasan (Bangladesh), Farzana Wahidy (Afghanistan), Alejandro Chaskielberg (Argentina) and Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan) will be on display in the National Geographic courtyard through Dec. 2.

“Visions of Paradise” at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts (1632 U Street, N.W.) is an exhibition of images from the new National Geographic book of the same name, in which photographers were asked to submit pictures that best represent their unique vision of heaven on Earth. Featured photographers include William Albert Allard, Jodi Cobb, David Doubilet, Beverly Joubert, Michael Nichols, Paul Nicklen, Randy Olson, Joel Sartore and Michael Yamashita. The exhibition will run through Jan. 2, 2009. An opening reception and book signing will be held on Nov. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Doubilet, followed by a presentation and book signing with Sartore and Olson on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. National Geographic is also holding a contest in which participants can submit their own “vision of paradise” for a chance to have their photograph on the cover of the book. To learn more, visit

Also around town, images from the 2008 National Geographic Photo Camps, made by high school students in the United States and Costa Rica, will be displayed Nov. 15-22 at Vivid Solutions (2208 Martin Luther King Ave, S.E.; . FotoWeek DC’s Georgetown hub in Cady’s Alley (3336 M Street, N.W.) will host an exhibition of the best of National Geographic’s user-submitted “Your Shot” photos Nov 15-22 .

The National Geographic Live! lecture series will present three public programs during Fotoweek. On Nov. 17 photographer Mattias Klum will discuss the rampant destruction threatening Borneo’s lowland rain forest in his lecture “Borneo: Paradise Under Siege” (7:30 p.m., $18). The film “At Close Range,” which reveals the dangers and hardships experienced in the field by photographer Joel Sartore, will be screened on Nov. 18 as part of the “Tuesdays at Noon” free film series. And Ed Kashi will discuss his dedication to documenting the social and political issues that define our times in a lecture titled “Near and Far: A Photographer’s Journey with Ed Kashi” on Nov. 21 (7:30 p.m., $18). All programs will take place in the National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium (1600 M Street, N.W.). Tickets are available by phone (202) 857-7700, online or in person at the National Geographic ticket office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 325 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy.

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