creative advisors

PCRC’s creative advisors lend their field-specific expertise and artistic vision to PCRC’s programs and overall intervention strategy. This branch of our advisory board consists of career journalists, filmmakers, photographers, curators, and artists. 


Kirsten Johnson is an award-winning New York-based documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. She is a faculty member at NYU. She graduated from Brown University in 1987, with a BA in Fine Arts and Literature. After two years in West Africa working on local fiction and documentary film projects, she attended the FEMIS (the French National Film School) in Paris. Her film credits include "Derrida" (2002), a documentary on French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the documentary "Darfur Now" (2006), and "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" (2008) which won the Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary.

Her other works include "The Oath" (2010) and "Citizenfour" (2014), both directed by Laura Poitras. "The Oath" is about Osama bin Laden's driver, Abu Jandal, for which Johnson won an award from Sundance. "Citizenfour" concerns Edward Snowden and his revelations about the NSA. Her most recent film, ‘’Cameraperson,’’ is exposing her own role behind the camera as Kirsten reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. So far, ‘’Cameraperson’’ has won 22 awards, including San Francisco International Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and Cinema Eye Honors Awards.


Erna Mačkić is the Chief Editor of all Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) BiH publications and is the Chairperson of the Association of Court Reporters in Sarajevo. Mačkić began her career in journalism in 2002 having attained a degree in journalism from the University of Sarajevo. She reported for Dnevni List daily newspaper and Danas Weekly magazine covering political and economic issues. Following the establishment of the state Court of BiH, Mačkić specialized in the coverage of war crimes and organized crime trials. She joined the BIRN Justice Report in 2007. Her fields of interest include investigative journalism, human rights and war crimes.


Ahmed Imamović was born in Sarajevo in 1971. He majored in Directing at Sarajevo’s Academy of Performing Arts and has worked as cameraman, assistant director, and screenwriter for documentaries and commercials. In 2002, his film "10 Minutes" was awarded Best Short Film at the European Film Awards. His first feature film, "Go West," won the Audience Award for Best Film at the 2006 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in New York. "Belvedere," his second feature film, was released in 2010 and has been screened around the world. An emotionally rich portrait of the Bosnian war’s troubled aftermath, director Ahmed Imamović’s "Belvedere" paints an uncommon image of patience, faith, love, and above all, forgiveness.


Abigail Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and scholar known for her documentary films focused on social themes. She is Co-Founder and Co-President of the Daphne Foundation, and board member of the Roy Disney Family Foundation, The White House Project, the Global Fund for Women, the Fund for the City of New York, and Peace is Loud. Disney recently launched Peace is Loud, an organization that supports female voices and international peace building through nonviolent means. Peace is Loud organized a 2009 Global Peace Tour as part of the UN’s International Day of Peace. As the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Daphne Foundation, Disney leads initiatives that fund programs which confront the causes and consequences of poverty in the five boroughs of New York City, with a particular interest in grassroots and emerging organizations. Her five-part television project, “Women, War & Peace, produced by PBS Wide Angle by Fork Films, Disney’s production company, which was established in 2007, premiered on PBS in 2011. Her films include "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," "Playground," and "Family Affair. "


Marija Simanić-Arnautović began her career as a journalist in the Balkans region in 1998. From 2002 to 2003, she worked as an editor for the Montenegrin News Agency (MINA). From 2003 to 2004, she was a journalist and television news editor for Sarajevo Canton Television. Since then, she has worked in the Sarajevo office for Radio Free Europe as a journalist, reporter and news editor and serves as a magazine editor and host for Radio Free Europe’s TV Liberty.


Paul Lowe is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of the Arts London and an award-winning photographer living and working between Sarajevo and London. His work is represented by Panos Pictures, and has appeared in Time,  Newsweek,  Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer and The Independent amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Grozny.

Since 2004, Lowe has been the course director of the master's program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. His book, "Bosnians," documenting 10 years of the war and post-war situation in Bosnia, was published in April 2005. Additionally, Lowe is developing an online educational program for developing world photographers, in conjunction with the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam. To read more about Lowe’s professional experience, please click here.


Award-winning author and journalist, Janine di Giovanni, has been covering global conflict since the 1980s and is considered one of Europe's most respected journalists. In her book, "The Place at the End of the World: Essays from the Edge," as with all her writing, she covers the human cost of war - working often in conflict zones that the world's press has forgotten. Her book "Madness Visible" has been optioned for a feature film by actress Julia Roberts' production company, Revolution Films. She is a writer for The Times of London and Vanity Fair, and contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Spectator, National Geographic and many others. For more information, and to read Di Giovanni’s full biography, please click here.


Leslie Thomas is the founding Executive and Creative Director of ART WORKS Projects. She is also an architect, Emmy-award winning art director, and mom. Leslie is a founding principal with LARC Inc., a national architectural practice, and is a graduate of Columbia University and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She serves on the boards of Congo Kids Initiative and the Right to Be Free and is on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs "Women and Global Development "Steering Committee. Leslie’s work has toured globally and been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation, the Humanity United Fund and the Graham Foundation. She is committed to the use of art and design for public good.


Ed Vulliamy is a writer for The Guardian and The Observer, and author of several books, including "Amexica: War Along the Borderline" (2010). He has won many awards for his journalism, including British Press Awards, International Reporter of the Year (1996); James Cameron Memorial Award for journalistic excellence (1994); and Amnesty International Newspaper Reporter of the Year (1992). From 1991-1994, Vulliamy covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia for The Guardian. He filmed a personal television essay for the BBC entitled "Bosnia’s Last Testament" (1993) and recorded a half-hour radio essay on Bosnia for the BBC series “Points of Departure” (1996). In 1995, Vulliamy wrote an award-winning retrospective series of 12 investigative articles entitled “Bosnia: The Secret War.” In 1996, he became the first journalist to testify in an international war crimes trial, testifying in three trials at The Hague and for the prosecution of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Additionally, Vulliamy has covered a variety of other events such as the Romanian revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Oklahoma City bombing. To read his latest work with The Guardian, please click here.