Brian Conley has been shooting video since 1997. He began working in video with the hope of telling interesting stories that might not otherwise be seen. Although he first imagined himself as a narrative filmmaker, he soon moved to documentary and journalism work.
In 2004 and 2005, through screenings of his film Libertad y Justicia para Todos, he raised money for an initial trip to Baghdad in October of 2005. After producing written and video work on his own in 2005, in 2006 he began the second phase of Alive in Baghdad.
At the end of 2006 Brian formed Small World News with Steve Wyshywaniuk, in the hopes of expanding the Alive in Baghdad model to establish similar projects, or bureaus, around the world. In November ‘06 he travelled to Oaxaca City and elsewhere in southern Mexico to begin SWN’s next project, Alive in Mexico.
Steve Wyshywaniuk graduated from Philadelphia’s Temple University in 2006 with a bachelors degree in Film and Video Arts. He got involved with the Alive in Baghdad project in January of ‘06 when he met Brian Conley at the yearly National Conference for Organized Resistance. Since then Brian and him co-found Small World News and .
Sarah Szalavitz wears many hats. She develops on content for Veoh Networks, and also independently produces internet shows. She recently founded 7 Stories, which produces stories across all platforms, including www.aliveinbaghdad.org, www.zaproot.com, www.awkwardsexstories.com, as well as a variety of other online, film and television projects. Prior to her current adventures, she served as a Development Executive for Brooklyn Films and briefly practiced law. She attended the University of Southern California, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Harvard Law School, and she has worked in the fields of technology, filmmaking, law, and politics.
Since 2003, Kevin Hart has worked with independent media projects to give a voice to the people forgotten by mainstream media.
Kevin began as a writer and videographer, and worked on several projects with Independent media projects including the Miami Model where he met Brian Conley.
Upset that the costs associated with film production limited who could produce independent videos, Kevin gathered equipment and funds, and traveled to Peru and Bolivia to teach journalists in South America about digital video editing.
Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida and provides consultation services to companies seeking access to new media markets through creative web design, website deployment and secure hosting. Based in Gainesville, Florida, Kevin offers award-winning custom web design and technical support.
Lauren Galanter is a filmmaker, photographer and video editor/multimedia designer from the Philadelphia area. She has worked on many independent media projects including; Videohouse Live, Rock School, Love Conjure/Blues, and Will You…. She has had her short films shown in film festivals and public television, and has exhibited photos in local galleries.
Lauren received a BA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University in 2005 and attended the New York Film Academy in 2002. You can learn more about Lauren and view her other work at her vlog, www.laurengalanter.com.
Josh Mull aka “Ultimate Josh” is an underground citizen journalist best known for his work with TheUptake.org covering the 2008 Presidential Elections, including live video coverage of police crackdowns on peace marches at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Follow Josh on Twitter.