"Having grown up in the USSR during the prohibitive Cold War era, I have always been fascinated with the idea of experiencing life beyond the familiar frontiers. Photography for me is not just a creative outlet, it's a language with which I try to make sense of the world around me. As a social documentary photographer from the outset, I have focused my gaze on the human interest stories of global resonance, documenting post-conflict societies, environmental degradation, marginalization and cultures under threat of disappearance. We are at the dawn of a new age - the age of machine intelligence and the question is, how does this age reflect upon our humanity? In the world of social media where information is shared and abundant, we are getting increasingly isolated, yet a photograph has the power to stir a complex emotional response. I believe in that power and through my stories I aspire to connect people as they begin to relate to those portrayed in my photographs by means of empathy and compassion."
Listen to Rena Effendi, an award-winning National Geographic photographer, tell a story of humanity though her lens.