Chris Rainier

National Geographic Photographer

Chris Rainier is a National Geographic Society Fellow and documentary photographer who is highly respected for his documentation of endangered cultures and languages. In 2002 he was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorers Club for his efforts on cultural preservation, and he was recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of London, specializing in Cultural Studies.

During his tenure with the National Geographic Society he has been the co-founder and co-director of the Enduring Voices Language Project and Director of the All Roads Photography Program, designed to support indigenous groups with modern technology. He is also a Contributing Editor for the National Geographic Traveler Magazine focused on Cultural Sustainability.

In the 1990s Rainier spent more than 10 years documenting the remaining tribes of New Guinea, which lead to an award winning book, and museum exhibition tour called Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea.  In the early 1980s Rainier served as Ansel Adams last photographic assistant.
Rainer has photographed global culture, conflict, famine, and war in places including Somalia, Sarajevo/Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Iraq for TIME Magazine, and NPR Radio.

He lectures and teaches seminar and workshops on using modern technology to preserve ancient cultural traditions. He is the director of the Last Mile Technology Program, which supports underrepresented and indigenous cultures with modern social media, computers, cameras, and video equipment. His photography and books have been widely shown and collected by museums. He has published five books on traditional culture, his latest is Cultures on the Edge.

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  • Jul 17, 2020
  • Mar 26, 2021

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