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Torsten Kjellstrand

23: October 2019 and MMW 09: Mar 2011

Torsten Kjellstrand has a rich history of documenting stories in under-represented and misrepresented communities in both photographs and film. He is a Professor of Practice at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Eugene, Oregon. He worked as a newspaper photographer for almost 30 years, at The (Dubois County, Indiana) Herald, The (Spokane, Washington) Spokesman-Review and The (Portland, Oregon) Oregonian, and has been a National Photographer of the Year, a Fulbright Scholarship in comparative literature, and a John S Knight Fellow at Stanford University.


Torsten participated in the March 2011 MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop. He also participated in the October 2019 MediaStorm Methodology Workshop. He had the following to say about his experiences:


I came to MediaStorm thinking that I needed to learn technical stuff - how to use microphones and DSLRs and software and whatever new gizmo just fell from the sky. I did learn a lot about those crucial tools, but the most important thing that happened during the week was that my love, and enthusiasm, for visual storytelling woke up and came out to play. I haven't been as excited about my work for years and years. It's hard to believe until you see it, but the MediaStorm team really does want us all to get better, to tell real stories, thrive, succeed, smile like we’re in love. I think our whole team did just that: fall in love with storytelling all over again.

The MediaStorm folks expected and celebrated going into our complicated world to discover real people with meaningful stories, tenderly gathered and truthfully told. They also expected us to work really hard - and they matched our efforts by working every bit as hard. And that's the other thing about this workshop: you learn how important it is to be an effective, respectful member of a team. It was incredible to work not only with the big heads at MediaStorm, but also with talented storytellers from other parts of our world. It's simply fun to work alongside people whose work is so good it makes the hair on the back of your neck dance with joy.

This workshop is the antidote to the dumb-it-down journalism taking over too much of our profession. MediaStorm convinced me that we have to master our new tools because doing so makes us better, more sophisticated, more robust conduits for stories that matter.

The Amazing Amy by Espen Rasmussen, Terje Bringedal, Torsten Kjellstrand and Finn Ryan

Using humor and a love of fantasy, "The Amazing Amy" Harlib connects with audiences through performing strenuous yoga-based contortion acts in New York City.