With a Polaroid camera and cassette recorder in hand, Barbara Grover learned the power of storytelling as a middle school student when she rode the bus throughout Los Angeles to document the lives of the city’s immigrants. Several decades later, Barbara’s passion for storytelling has evolved into multimedia work in which she combines still photography, video and audio to distill complex world issues into compelling human narratives.
Self-taught, Barbara began her career as a political consultant where she created and executed image-driven campaigns to affect social change. She started working as a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer in the late 90’s after winning the prestigious Ernst Haas award in photojournalism for her images of the Los Angeles Riots. Driven to projects that break down stereotypes and unveil an unexpected side of everyday issues, Barbara has traveled to over 40 countries to put a face – and give a voice – to the homeless, refugees, and children of war. Her work has appeared internationally in various print and online publications including Time, CNN, Stern and several Rizzoli publications (Italy’s equivalent to Conde Naste Publishing). Her current assignments include nonprofits and international humanitarian organizations ranging from the Los Angeles Free Clinic and Common Ground to The Jerusalem Foundation, Whole Child International and Jewish World Watch.
Barbara has exhibited in solo and groups shows throughout the US. Her multimedia piece, “The Women of Iridimi” (part of her traveling exhibit “Refuge(e)” that documents everyday life in a Darfur refugee camp) was presented before the United Nations High Commission of Refugees and at the Humanitarian Symposium in Geneva in 2008. In 2006, her series of life-size photographic canvases and first person narratives, “This Land to Me – Some Call it Palestine, Others Israel” was selected for exhibition at the international biennial, FotoFest. It has been incorporated into a unique high school curriculum in collaboration with The Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change at Queens College, New York.
A world traveler who is based in her native Los Angeles, Barbara is currently working on a multimedia series about homeless youth in Santa Monica, California.