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Q&A with author Karen Coates and photographer Jerry Redfern – Haunting Legacy

By Deborah Kalb
Oct. 5, 2013
Haunting Legacy

REDCOATES ParisWriter Karen Coates and her husband, photographer Jerry Redfern, have collaborated on the forthcoming book Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos. Their other work together includes the book This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads. They are based in New Mexico and travel frequently to Asia. Many of their projects have focused on the issues of food and the environment.

Q: How did the two of you end up working on Eternal Harvest?

A: This grew out of a story on the archaeological work around the Plain of Jars that we did in 2005 for Archaeology Magazine. We had traveled to Laos before and knew the general history of the bombings, but it wasn’t until that reporting trip that we saw first-hand just how devastating the effects remain today. READ MORE

News Blog

Q&A with Jerry Redfern – Boulder Stand

Photojournalist Jerry Redfern accepted the first place award for outstanding photography at the 11th annual Society of Environmental Journalists Conference on Oct. 17, 2012.

By Christi Turner
Oct. 17, 2012
Boulder Stand

REDFERN profileAlthough a self-described “straightforward journalist,” Jerry Redfern and his work are far from traditional.

Redfern’s intense, beautiful images from Southeast Asia are compiled in his upcoming book, Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos, which documents what Redfern calls the most important environmental story he has ever done — and perhaps also the most dangerous. The striking images have won him the 2011-2012 Photographer’s Award for Reporting on the Environment from the Society of Environmental Journalists, which he received earlier this week.

Redfern has spent over 20 years in photojournalism, and over a decade of those working in close quarters with UXOs – or unexploded ordnances – in Southeast Asia. He frequently teams up with his wife and traveling companion, freelance journalist Karen Coates, to cover the stories they feel need to be told.  Redfern provided the images for Coates’ upcoming book, This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads.

As a Scripps Fellow at the CU Center for Environmental Journalism, a fellowship previously held by his wife, Redfern is adding new multimedia to his storytelling arsenal.  Pursuing a project to document, share and live-update the environmental health of the Rio Grande, Redfern hopes to culminate his fellowship with the design of a new mobile app for the purpose.

We recently spoke with Redfern about his extensive travels, his award-winning photographs and his ambitious project. READ MORE