More Than a Thousand Words: The Photography of Jo-Anne McArthur

Celebrated photographer Jo-Anne McArthur joins us in studio to talk about her work in Canada, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and India. We hear about how she uses her camera to tell the stories of animals and people in the most dire to most joyful situations. In our conversation, McArthur reflects on her development as a photographer, including how she gains the stillness and trust required to do her work well. Recent subjects include teenage mothers and the world of contemporary midwifery. She has worked closely with organizations such as the Animal India TrustJane Goodall InstituteFarm Sanctuary, among others. She has photographed for publications such as The Globe & Mail, Canadian Geographic Magazine, NOW Magazine, to mention only a few.

In contrast with some of the more graphic animal rights photography, McArthur’s animal shots invite the viewer to go deeper into the image, to sift through its many layers. From the documentation of undercover animal cruelty investigators, dog and cat rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to the rabbit shelter at Farm Sanctuary, McArthur’s animal advocacy offers subtle portraits of contexts where human and animal lives are deeply intertwined. Honoured in magazines such as Canadian Living, McArthur’s formal training at Magnum Photos in London (2000) and her continued openness to experience and critique has created a portfolio that is both intimate and captivating.

McArthur invites listeners to give her feedback about her book-in-progress, to be endorsed by Jane Goodall, We Animals: Animals in the Human Environment. Please contact her at jo@joannemcarthur.com for a PDF version of the book. She would love to hear from you.

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or download an mp3 of the interview.

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