“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” – Lewis Wickes Hine
Matthew Cassel is an independent multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul, Turkey. As a writer, photographer and videographer he has reported from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and beyond. In recent years he has focused mainly on the plight of refugees seeking asylum in Europe. His 2013 film for Al Jazeera English, “Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle with Zionism,” focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. The film was awarded news documentary of the year at the 2014 Monte Carlo TV Festival.
From 2011-2014, Cassel was a journalist at Al Jazeera English in Doha, Qatar, in 2014 he moved to Istanbul where he helped launch AJ+, a new digital project within the Al Jazeera network. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world. From 2007-2011, Cassel lived in Beirut, Lebanon where he was a freelance journalist and assistant editor of the online publication The Electronic Intifada. In 2006 he co-founded Picture Balata, a media school for youth from Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. He interned with VII photo agency in Paris in 2005 and was one of 100 emerging photographers selected to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2006. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic.