Brenda Ann Kenneally is a mother, documentarian and interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn. Kenneally’s obsession with capturing a core truth of the people she photographs earned her The W. Eugene Smith Award in 2000 for photographers who work in the tradition of the legendary Life Magazine photographer.
Her long-term projects are intimate portraits of social issues that intersect where the personal is political.
Her book and web publication MONEY, POWER, RESPECT; Pictures of My Neighborhood received numerous awards: The W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography, a Soros Criminal Justice Fellowship and The Mother Jones Award. In 2006 the multimedia project won the Best of Photojournalism award for overall Best Use of the Web by the National Press Photographers Association.
The multi media work that she was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine to do for the first Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, was nominated for a Pulitzer and the feature production by Media Storm won a Webb Award.
Since that time Kenneally has sought to push the boundaries of art and the social document. Using the web as collaborative tool.
In 2004, Kenneally began photographing in Upstate New York, where she was born. The ongoing project, Upstate Girls is a look at the lower working class America that, despite sweeping technological advances remains unchanged since Kenneally herself was a child there. The lives of women and children in the City of Troy, New York, where the Industrial Revolution is thought to have begun, are contextualized through Kenneally’s lens.
The use of color iconology serves as an historical record, as well as an indictment of the by-products of globalization that shape The American visual and social landscape.
Kenneally is seeking to expand her immersion style of reporting to include the subjects of her work. Web technology has made real, the possibility for open-ended stories that allow policy makers and socially concerned citizens to put personal stories into an historical context that facilitates cultural literacy.
In this spirit Kenneally and independent producer Laura Lo Forti founded The Raw File, a digital theatre dedicated to providing a space for socially provocative media.