Changing faces: Amelia Gentleman

1st February 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Visitors to Wadham’s C Day-Lewis Room will have admired the new photographic portrait of journalist Amelia Gentleman (Russian and History, 1991).

  • Amelia Gentleman (Russian and History, 1991)

    Amelia Gentleman (Russian and History, 1991) photographed by Sophia Spring

One of a series of newly commissioned photographic portraits, which are going up around College, the sitters have been chosen following nominations from staff, students and alumni, as inspirational members of the Wadham community.

Warden Ken Macdonald QC is spearheading this project to showcase a more balanced selection of images of Wadham’s alumni and fellows: 

“I wanted to address the predominance in Hall and around College of portraits of white men. These are grand figures from Wadham’s past and they deserve their place in our history. But Wadham in the twenty-first century is a community that is proud of its diversity and it’s time to reflect this in the portraits that adorn our walls. Over the coming months we shall be unveiling some inspirational images to represent Wadham as it is today.”

Photographer Sophia Spring was commissioned to capture the first nine sitters who will be featured individually on the website over the coming weeks.

Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman is the subject of the wonderful portrait located in the C Day-Lewis room.

Describing her career she said: “After leaving Wadham I joined the Press Association, and moved to the Guardian as a trainee a couple of years later. I wanted to use the Russian that I studied at Wadham, so I moved to Russia, and was Moscow correspondent for the Guardian and Observer between 1999 and 2001, covering the arrival of Putin as President, and the war in Chechnya. I came back to London where I was deputy foreign editor, beginning work just before 9/11, and continuing for the incredibly busy period of war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. In 2003 I moved to be Paris correspondent for the Guardian and Observer. Two years later, I left to become New Delhi correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, where I won the Indian press award for best foreign correspondent covering India, and two Amnesty awards for human rights reporting. Since 2009 I have been back in London, writing features for the Guardian, mainly looking at the impact of government policy on people beyond Westminster, and won the George Orwell prize for journalism in 2012.”

Wadham in the twenty-first century is a community that is proud of its diversity and it’s time to reflect this in the portraits that adorn our walls

Warden, Ken Macdonald QC

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