Her fellowship will be devoted to researching new work for her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she will create an environment of immersive installations that build on the themes she has been exploring in her filmmaking.
Laura Poitras is a filmmaker, journalist, and artist whose work bravely tackles some of the most pressing political and social issues of our day. She recently finished a trilogy of films on the post-9/11 war on terror. The final film in the trilogy, CITIZENFOUR, focuses on Edward Snowden’s exposure of the National Security Agency’s broad and invasive monitoring of citizens. It won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, along with awards from, among others, the British Film Academy, Independent Spirit Awards, Directors Guild of America, and Cinema Eye Honors. In her acceptance speech, she said that NSA surveillance not only is “a threat to our privacy” but also endangers “our democracy itself.” As a result of her work, Laura has been on government watch lists since 2006 and has been detained repeatedly at the US border. She edited CITIZENFOUR in Berlin, Germany, to protect the footage and her sources.
Laura has received many honors for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. With Glenn Greenwald, she won the 2013 George Polk Award for national security journalism and shared in the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. With Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, she co-founded the Intercept.