Nina Berman | Columbia Journalism School

Nina Berman

Professor of Journalism

Nina Berman is a documentary photographer with a primary interest in the American political and social landscape.  She is the author of two acclaimed monographs “Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq,” portraits and interviews with wounded veterans, and “Homeland,” an exploration of post September 11 America.

Her work has been recognized with awards in art and journalism from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the World Press Photo Foundation, the Open Society Institute Documentary Fund, Pictures of the Year International, and Hasselblad among others.    She has exhibited still and video work in more than eighty venues including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Whitney Museum of American Art 2010 Biennial, and Dublin Contemporary. 
She started her photographic career in 1988 as an independent photographer working on assignment for the world’s major magazines including Time, Newsweek, Life, Fortune, the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine German Geo, French Geo, and the Sunday Times Magazine.  She covered a range of issues, from women under siege during war in Bosnia and Afghanistan, to domestic issues of criminal justice, reproductive rights, and political process.
In 2003, she began a multi-year project photographing and interviewing wounded veterans from the Iraq War.  The series “Purple Hearts” was published in 12 countries, made into a feature length documentary film, and turned into an educational exhibition. In 2006, working on an Open Society grant, she traveled with Iraq war veteran Robert Acosta bringing “Purple Hearts” to high schools, university campuses and community centers.
Her work has been featured on numerous broadcast outlets including CBS, ABC, CNN, PBS, BBC, CBC and NPR and has been reviewed on the art pages of New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Aperture, Art in America, Artinfo, Afterimage, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, and Le Monde.
Prior to joining the Journalism faculty, she taught documentary photographer at the International Center of Photography, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Contemporary Image Collective (Cairo, Egypt) Foto Department (St. Petersburg, Russia) and Al Liquindoi, Cadiz, Spain.
She received a BA from the University of Chicago and an MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 
She is a member of the NOOR photography collective based in Amsterdam engaged in on collaborative still and video projects on international issues from climate crisis to modern day slavery.
She was born in New York City.




Pulitzer Hall, Room 302A