Andrew Stanbridge has been traveling and photographing throughout Southeast Asia for the past 15 years. His first work documented the continuing modernization of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, which continues to be a theme that he returns to frequently. While traveling through these countries (particularly Cambodia and Laos) his interest was piqued by the histories of conflict that his own home country of America had been involved in and the recovery from the aftermath of these conflicts. For years he has concentrated on this theme by addressing the physical, emotional and cultural scars left from the various wars fought in these countries. During this time he has spent time clearing and photographing unexploded ordnance, gone on patrol with ragtag armies and spent countless hours hearing the stories of those whose lives have been affected by the vestiges of war. These people include sex workers, rice farmers,politicians and others whose stories beg to be told, but who have been overlooked by the mainstream media, who too often forget the stories of rehabilitation and instead focus on the next hotbed of wherever blood and guts are being spilled. His work has followed Burma through it’s dark history and into the recent “democratization” and most recently he has concentrated on the religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims that are developing in various corners of the country. He has also begun to make forays to the African continent to photograph postcolonial communities on the islands of Sao Tome and Principe as well as creating a visual survey of Ethiopia beyond the well-known images of drought and starvation. Although he would not call himself a conflict photographer, he has brought his camera into areas where bullets are flying and bombs are falling. Recently this kind of experience has involved image making in Syria.
For the past 3 years he has also been working closely with the the group “Girl Determined” in Burma to help to empower teenage girls there. He has visited nearly all of the locations that they have programs and has interviewed and photographed many of the 2,000 girls who are taking part in the program. It is by far the most important and inspiring project that he has worked on to date.
Andrew is a collector at heart and looks at his photographs as the big things he can’t fit in his suitcase. He also enjoys returning to the studio to print and handwork the images allowing him to return to and devote more time to the situations that he encountered.
Stanbridge’s work has been exhibited and published internationally and is held in several prominent collections. His work has been supported by many grants and he frequently visits colleges and universities lecturing on the aftermath of war and his photographic work. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University.
Clients include The New York Times/International Herald Tribune, National Geographic, Al Jazeera, NBC, VICE, Roads & KIngdoms, The Bangkok Post, Lucky Peach, PDN, Vocativ, Chiang Mai City Life, Anthropolgy Now and others.