TED, a New York-based organisation that brings together leading scientists, thinkers and designers committed to social change, grants $100000 to three outstanding people each year and gives them one wish to change the world. James Natchtwey is now using his skills as a photojournalist to raise global awareness of extensively drug resistant tuberculosis and in the process demonstrate the power of news photography in the digital age. He travelled to countries as diverse as Cambodia, Siberia, Rwanda and India documenting the XDR-TB and the efforts of governments and NGOs to pioneer new treatment programmes that may arrest the disease's progression. Last week TED unveiled a slide show of more than 50 images at the Lincoln Center in New York and the National Theatre in London and over the next few weeks the same photographs will be shown on outdoors screens in 50 cities worldwide and on the internet as part of a multimedia campaign that aims to harness the power of viral marketing techniques on the web. The aim is to bring TB into the mass consciousness in the hope of starting an action campaign that can leverage more funds for aid and sponsorship for research.
I was born in a small university town called Salamanca in the middle of Spain in 1968. It was almost unavoidable for me to study a Degree in Literature and Linguistics in my hometown and then I started travelling and working as a lecturer through the years until I landed in London and somehow my life changed.
For the last eight years I have been working at Cervantes Institute, a public institution from the Spanish Government that was founded in 1991 to promote Spanish language teaching and culture of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world.
After having completed an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries at King's College London in 2005, my professional ambitions and interests started to shift. I undertook different projects of academic research about the Tourism Industry and then I went off travelling again to see everything I was reading about through the lens of my camera.
Since my last return to London, I have been teaching and helping to organize different exhibitions, conferences and Film festivals at Cervantes Institute in London.