Is Instagram a real agent of change or the ultimate symbol of our ever-growing cultural obsession for images? Is its worldwide success the representation of the emergence of a whole generation’s new language, defined both by professionals and amateurs? What can we learn from examples as different as the international movement @EverydayAfrica, and its local spin-offs, or @LiveLoveBeirut dispelling stereotypes, or Thomas Dworzak's sociological take on teenagers taking selfies while visiting Auschwitz, published as a book?

Moderated by Fred Ritchin (Dean of ICP School) with Austin Merrill, Elodie Mailliet Storm, and Youmna ChamCham.

Presented by Studio 55 | @st55nyc.


Austin Merrill co-founded Everyday Africa with Peter DiCampo in March of 2012 while on assignment in Ivory Coast. A former foreign correspondent based in West Africa with the Associated Press, Merrill has written breaking news, magazine, and travel pieces covering culture, politics, the environment, and conflict. He has reported from numerous African countries—including Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, DR Congo, Angola, and South Africa—and from America and Europe as well. His writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Wired, Departures, and elsewhere. His photography credits include National Geographic, Internazionale, Photo District News, Newsweek Japan, The New York Times LENS blog, and The New Yorker Photo Booth blog. Merrill was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ivory Coast in the mid-1990s. He later earned a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He lives in New York and works as an editor at Vanity Fair.

Instagram: @austin_merrill @everydayafrica
Twitter: @_austinmerrill @everydayafrica

Elodie Mailliet Storm is Senior Director of Content Partnerships and Business Development at Getty Images. Elodie also launched Getty Images' high-end portraiture and fashion division, Contour, which she headed until 2014. Prior to this, she was Director of Photography for portraiture and entertainment at Corbis. She has been on the board of award-winning documentary production company MediaStorm since the company’s inception. In 2005, she was named one of the top 100 people in photography by American Photo. Elodie has worked as a freelance writer for Le Nouvel Observateur, VSD, and French Photo. She is author of the book one2one, published by TeNeues, and Kant entre Desespoir et Esperance. A native of Paris, France, she came to the United States in 1999 to pursue a Master's in Journalism at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Elodie lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Brian and their two children: Eva and Jasper.

Twitter: @elodiemailliet

Youmna Chamcham started Live Love Beirut while visiting her hometown in 2012, with her friend Edward Bitar. It was the worst touristic summer since 1946. They started a hashtag called #livelovebeirut and asked people to only share the beauty of Lebanon, its life and living parts, and reposted the best images on Instagram everyday. Today, it counts 5.4 million cumulative likes on Instagram, 160,000 images, bracelets sold in 42 countries, and Live Love accounts for every major city and university in Lebanon. In 2014, it got adopted by the Ministry of Tourism and Live Love Lebanon became the official campaign of the nation. The Live Love movement is now picking up in countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Armenia and Venezuela. From Beirut, to the world. Youmna was a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena when Live Love Beirut started. She now resides in New York City.

Instagram: @livelovebeirut
Twitter: @cyoumna