Gillian Laub

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Gillian Laub is a photographer and filmmaker. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in comparative literature before studying photography at the International Center of Photography, where her love of visual storytelling and family narratives began.

Gillian’s first monograph, Testimony (Aperture 2007), began as a response to the media coverage during the second intifada in the Middle East, and a desire to create a dialogue between apparent enemies.  This work is comprised of portraits and testimonies from Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Lebanese, and Palestinians all directly and indirectly affected by the complicated geopolitical context in which they lived.

Gillian spent over a decade working in Georgia exploring issues of lingering racism in the American South. This work became Gillian’s first feature length, directed and produced, documentary film, Southern Rites that premiered on HBO.  Her monograph, Southern Rites (Damiani, 2015) and travelling exhibition by the same title came out in conjunction with the film and are being used for an educational outreach campaign, in schools and institutions across the country. Southern Rites was named one of the best photo books of 2015 by TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue, LensCulture, and American Photo. It was also nominated for a Lucie award and Humanitas award.

“Riveting…In a calm, understated tone, Southern Rites digs deep to expose the roots that have made segregated proms and other affronts possible. Southern Rites is a portrait of the inequities that lead to disaster on the streets of cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.” – The New York Times

Gillian has been interviewed on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Times Talks, and numerous others.  Gillian contributes to many publications including TIME and The New York Times Magazine. Her work is collected and exhibited internationally.