Nolan Ryan Trowe in conversation with Ashley Gilbertson

June 15, 2021
12:00–13:15PM EDT
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Photo by Nolan Ryan Trowe/ VII Mentor Program. April, 2020, United States; When I first became disabled, I hated everything about it: my body, my wheelchair, my braces, my catheters, wearing diapers, everything. I used to be ashamed of all of that. Now I see it all differently. Photographing myself helped me to embrace my new body and life in a way I never thought possible."

Almost five years ago, Nolan Ryan Trowe lost his ability to walk and to function as an able-bodied photographer. He became very aware that, as with most industries, the expectations of a professional photographer are constructed around an able-bodied experience. He asks, “Where does the disabled narrative fit in? How do those stories get told?”

With his colleague and friend Ashley Gilbertson, Nolan Ryan Trowe discusses working in the industry as a photographer with a disability. Having recently completed the VII Mentor Program, Nolan will show work produced for The New York Times and The Magnum Foundation while explaining why he thinks it is important to produce work that is important to you personally. During the past couple of years, Nolan has turned the camera on himself in order to examine what can be learned by personal narratives.