Photo by Michael Davie



National Geographic Live

Wild Hope
With Ami Vitale


Monday, March 14, 2022
7:30 PM
Bing Concert Hall

About the Program

Photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale shares her personal odyssey—from documenting the heartbreaking realities of war to witnessing the inspiring power of an individual to make a difference. Her work has taken her to more than 100 countries. She’s lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” 

Early in her career, Vitale documented the worst conflicts unfolding across the planet–from the war in Kosovo to the abiding conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. More recently, she has turned her lens to wildlife stories, exploring the increasingly complex relationships between humans, wildlife, and this abundant but fragile planet we call home. Her coverage of Kenya’s first indigenous-owned and run elephant sanctuary earned her World Press Photo recognition in 2018. The October 2019 cover story of National Geographic featured Vitale’s tender image of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, and the heroic efforts of the local people to save a species. And in China, she was given unprecedented access to document the efforts to breed pandas and release them back into the wild. 

Join her as she shares the incredible images and adventures that have transformed her into a celebrated global storyteller, photographer, and filmmaker.


National Geographic Live is the live events division of National Geographic. Its broad roster of talent, including renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers and adventurers, share their behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage to audiences throughout the United States and abroad. For more information on National Geographic Live and other National Geographic events, please visit  

Office Depot is a North American Presenting Sponsor of National Geographic Live for the 2021–22 season

Stanford Live Season Sponsor: 


PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please be considerate of others and turn off all phones, pagers, and watch alarms. Photography and recording of any kind are not permitted. Thank you.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Masks are no longer required for indoor performances but are strongly recommended.


About the Artist

Ami Vitale
Photographer and Filmmaker
Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” She has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and to the enduring power of the human spirit. Recently, she has turned her lens to compelling wildlife stories, such as returning critically endangered, captive-born species like the giant pandas back to the wild, and attempts to save the last living northern white rhinos from extinction. 

Vitale’s work is exhibited worldwide in museums, galleries, and private collections. She has garnered prestigious awards including multiple prizes from World Press Photo, the International Photographer of the Year prize, and the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting. She has also been named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer's Association.

Vitale is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers who document challenges facing women and girls in developing countries and donate that media to the organizations to assist in fundraising. She is chair of the Photographers Advisory Board for National Geographic magazine photographers and a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the Alexia Foundation's Photojournalism Advisory Board.

Based in Montana, Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives inspiring talks and workshops throughout the world.


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