Linda Panetta is a photojournalist whose documentary work focuses on cultural, environmental and human rights. Linda began her college education with only the vaguest of ideas of what she wanted to do with her life. Four years later she graduated with a goal of uncovering the truth about victims of war, poverty, and injustice throughout the world. Shortly after college she landed in the war zones of Guatemala and Nicaragua; for nearly 30 years she has worked in some of the world’s most volatile regions, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia. Today, as a photojournalist and human rights activist, she continues to pursue those same goals with a US-based focus on youth and adult homeless advocacy and awareness. Read more
Linda is the producer and director of the award-winning documentary "An Insider Speaks Out!" which highlights human rights abuses in Latin America. Linda has collaborated with and photographed several of the music industry’s top performers; her photos have been widely published in books, newspapers and magazines and featured in numerous documentaries. Her photos have been exhibited throughout the US, Canada and in Europe. Exhibits and lectures by Panetta focus on the environmental and human cost of war.
Linda is the founder/director of Optical Realities Photography and “OR Indie Arts Initiative”, a multimedia healing arts program for homeless youth and adults, with a focus on homeless single mothers.
Linda is an instructor at Cabrini College (2010 – Present). She teaches photojournalism as well as courses that allow the homeless to become active participants in discussing and addressing socio-economic issues. Classes explore the complex issues relating to global and domestic poverty, immigration, war, environmental degradation, and the efforts of regional organizations to address such issues.
Forums Linda has presented at (partial list):
Yale University, NYU, Fordham University, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Loyola University (New Orleans), Smith College, Bowling Green State University, George School, Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Cabrini College, Byrn Mawr College, St. John's University, La Salle University, University of New Mexico, Springfield University, Smith College, Eastern University, Chestnut Hill College, St. Peters College, Furman University, University of St. Thomas, College of Saint Benedict, Rosemont College, Kutz Elementary School, Lenape Middle School, St. Bonaventure University, St. Louis University HS, Akiba Hebrew Academy, University of Scranton, University of Waterloo (Ontario), University of Toronto, Associazione Centro Di Accoglienza E Promozione Culturale (Italy). Conferences: Sabeel, Call to Action, Veterans for Peace…
Partial list of Publications:
Adbusters, America Magazine, Amnesty International Publications, Catholic New Times, Inc., Chicago Sun, Company Magazine, Conscious Choice, Friends Journal, Maryknoll Magazine, Revista Magazine, North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), National Catholic Reporter (regular contributor), Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sing Out!, Sojourners Magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, The Catholic Standard & Times, The Nation, The Progressive, The Riverdale Press, Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism, Friends of the Earth International (Netherlands), Rolling Stone Magazine.
Book Contributions (partial list):
"Mothers in Arms." Salvadoran women share their stories as former combatants and talk about their lives today as a politician, human rights advocate, hammock maker, healthcare worker, leader of a women’s cattle cooperative, ex-comandante and entrepreneur, and mother... > A Persistent Peace: One Man’s Struggle for a Nonviolent World. Loyola Press. > … Clashing Views on Latin American Issues: Plan Colombia… Plan of Death. McGraw-Hill > Political Geography. World-Economy, Nation-State and Locality. Prentice Hall. > Living Justice & Peace. St. Mary’s Press. > Love in Action… R.K. Taylor Publishing. > Cultural Anthropology, 1/ce (College Textbook). Thomson Nelson Learning > War in Colombia, Made in the U.S.A. IAC, NY > Jesus for President. Zondervan Press. > The Global & the Intimate: Women’s Studies Quarterly. > Santa Claus in Baghdad: Stories About Teens in the Arab World. Indiana Univ. Press. > Rumours of Glory (Harper Collins)
Other: CBS 3, Philadelphia (Mar 14, 2009) Featured story about Fr. McNamee. CBS & NBC Nightly News, Philadelphia. Slide show of photos from Iraq Voyageurs TV - Uruguay Feminist International Radio Endeavour (FIRE) - Website Publication: “Women & War in Colombia: None of the Women Make the War, but they All Live it.” Amnesty International Conference, Czech Republic Countless websites around the world.
Additional Projects (partial list): Against the Odds. Making a Difference in Global Health. National Library of Medicine. Educational Photo Exhibit “A revolution in global health is taking place in villages and towns around the world. Communities, in collaboration with scientists, advocates, governments, and international organizations are taking up the challenge to prevent disease and improve quality of life…” www.getinvolved.against-the-odds.org/
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) - “Dreams & Nightmares: Life and Death in Iraq.” Nine foot banners using photos taken in Iraq (2003) is part of a traveling outdoor exhibit/ memorial to highlight the affects of war and occupation. These images accompany AFSC's widely acclaimed Eyes Wide Open exhibit of combat boots and civilian shoes, commemorating all U.S. and Iraqi deaths in the war.
United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz, CA: 16 photos of women and children from throughout Haiti, Latin America and the Middle East were used to create larger than life-sized banners (dimensions: 8 x 4 feet) that were hung as a permanent exhibit in their community center.
For more information please email: Linda@OpticalRealities.org