Leslie Alsheimer is an internationally published and award winning photographer, author, and photo-educator. She is most known for her documentary projects addressing the human condition worldwide. Her work—spanning editorial, fine art and documentary genres— has appeared in the Corcoran Gallery of Art as well as numerous books and publications including PDN Magazine, Nikon World, Digital Photographer, and B&W Magazines. Honored in the National Geographic Traveler & PDN Magazine “World in Focus” Awards, and with the 2008 Vincent Versace Award for Photographic Excellence, Leslie's deeper perspective essays exhibit a unique style rooted in a passion for creating images that parallel and interconnect her previous career as a social worker (MSW) and her vision of the human spirit. Leslie’s professional and personal work celebrates the beauty and splendor that can be found in humanity —regardless of circumstance. With images, she creates metaphors that honor the richness of life that accompany the enduring human spirit; celebrating life, play, family, culture and community through the joy, pain and love of everyday living. Leslie also believes in using photography to help empower others to find their own creative voice and vision. She was the creative director of the published book, Reality from the Barrio, a social documentary honored in the PDN Photography Annual 2003-The Best Photos of the Year. Inspired by a traditional wet darkroom photography program that Leslie developed, and directed for a non-profit organization's gang diversion program, the book became a thesis project for Leslie's master's degree in social work. Currently the Director of Community Photography Outreach a project based non profit collecting and disseminating donated cameras to organizations and programs in need, Leslie is also developing Forward Focus, an organization dedicated to utilizing the power of visual imagery to support and encourage grassroots nonprofit initiatives dedicated to fostering social and environmental change. Together with a pioneering series of nonprofit educational journeys, this organization is a collaborative forum that combines education, adventure, and creative purpose to celebrate what people are doing to create a better world, supporting and encouraging acts of connection, compassion and contribution, i.e. creating works that matter. Leslie is currently available for assignments locally, nationally and internationally. internationally. www.lesliealsheimer.com.
Entry description: Uganda is a land of contradiction. Overwhelming sorrow and immense joy exist side by side. In the wake of 26 years of the Lord'sResistance Army (LRA) and Joseph Kony's mindless slaughter, 30,000 child soldier abductions, malaria and HIV/AIDS pandemics ravaging communities already haunted by the specter of dictatorship, genocide, and war — Ugandans still embody an irrepressible spirit of resilience, optimism, courage, and love. Like most of Africa, Uganda is far more diverse, complex, engaging, and vibrant than the images the popular media would have us believe. The recent Kony2012 video brought a wave of attention to Uganda however, the stereotypical unbalanced, negative imagery of bleeding or scarred war casualties, limbless amputees, bloated bellied children, and naked rape victims portrays an entire nation as helpless, passively waiting for charity without doing anything for themselves. As the story of suffering becomes the only story we know of a place and its people, recognition of our equal humanity becomes difficult; creating stereotypes that rob people of dignity. A Moment in the Glass:The Secret Life of Uganda's Daughters challenges the common depictions of Africa, particularly African women and children in post-conflict Uganda. As the invisible backbone of their society, Ugandan women of hope and determination are emerging from the cultural shadows and reclaiming their fundamental rights to grow and thrive in a land that still struggles to maintain fragile pockets of peace in the midst of poverty and devastation and creating peaceful communities where they and their families are free from all forms of violence.