Emily Garthwaite (b. 1993) is a photojournalist, writer and storyteller focusing on environmental and humanitarian stories. Emily’s work weaves together themes of shared humanity, displacement and coexistence with the natural world. She is a Leica Ambassador and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has a Masters in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the University of Westminster. 

Emily has walked over 1,500km through Iraq, including the Arba'een pilgrimage in Southern Iraq, the world's largest annual pilgrimage, three times. She has also walked a 230km thru-hike across the Kurdistan region to document the Zagros Mountain Trail, the region's first long-distance hiking trail, of which she is a co-founder. Since 2019, Emily has been documenting the Kurdistan region's mountain traditions and contemporary archives as part of a long-term multi-disciplinary project. 

In 2020, she walked 200km across the Zagros mountains in Iran to document the nomadic customs of the Bakhtiari tribe. In 2021, Emily and a team of international and Iraqi environmentalists made a 1,900km source-to-sea expedition by boat down the Tigris River through Turkey, Syria and Iraq over three months. In 2023, Emily made a second journey down the Tigris River in Iraq to document the river two years on. She is currently based between Iraq and Turkey.


Emily's work has been awarded by Forbes 30 Under 30,  Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Visa d’or Award, Goldziher Prize, Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards, Prix Photo Terre Solidaire, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and nominated for National Magazine Awards, Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award,  BarTur PhotoAward and the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award.

She has exhibited her work internationally, including at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, EXPO 2020 and Xposure Festival in Dubai, Visa Pour L'image and Palais Royale in France and in the UK, at Leica Mayfair Gallery, South Bank Centre, Somerset House and The Natural History Museum.

Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Washington Post, Der Speigel, Le Figaro, GEO, among others. Her writing has been published by GEO, SUITCASE and is featured in the Best of British Travel Writing.

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