Binhu, China, 2016

David Blumenkrantz’s professional experience includes NGO, documentary and photojournalism work in East and Central Africa, covering social, relief and development, and political issues. From 1992-1994, he was the Information Department Coordinator for the Undugu Society of Kenya, working on projects related to street children and urban poverty. 

In 2019, he self-published Edges of Africa, a 190-page anthology of his photographs and writings. He has documented development projects for UNICEF and UNESCO in Angola. David has also freelanced for the Los Angeles Times and various other publications as a writer and photographer. His work has been exhibited and published in several countries outside the United States, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, China, Germany and France.

A photography and visual communication educator for more than 20 years, David has lectured at Wuhan, Yangtze, Yunnan Normal and other universities in China. In 2015 and 2017 he was a presenter at the Intercultural Communication Conference at Wuhan University. He has taught at or ran workshops for Kodak East Africa, The All Africa Conference of Churches,  the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi, the government of Eritrea, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh's Online Division, the New York Film Academy, and the Watts Towers Art Center (for the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles). In 2004, after eight years teaching with the Los Angeles Unified School District, he joined the journalism department at California State University, and is a tenured professor. David holds a BA in Journalism, an MA in Art Education, and an MFA in Visual Communication. 


  • Community Engagement Disciplinary Grants, for student community service projects at the North Valley Caring Services, North Hills, Spring 2019, and at the St. Charles Borromeo Church, North Hollywood, Fall 2019.

  • CSUN Faculty Exceptional Creative Accomplishment Award, 2018, for One of Us homeless documentary project.

  • Social Justice Hero, awarded by the Museum of Social Justice for the One of Us exhibition, Los Angeles, 2018

  • CSUN China Institute Faculty Travel Grant, 2018 for visit to Yuxi Normal University, Yunnan Arts University, and Yangtze University in China, to conduct field research, curate photography exhibition, and guest lecture.

  • MCCAMC RSCA Travel Grant, May 2018, for trip to China to conduct documentary work on cultural heritage and folklore at Yuxi Normal University, Kunming and Yangtze University, Jingzhou.

  • MCCAMC RSCA Travel Grant, May 2017, for trip to China to conduct documentary work on cultural heritage and folklore at Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, and Wuhan University.

  • Outstanding Faculty Contribution Award, CSUN China Institute, 2017.

  • MCCAMC Exceptional Service to Students Awards for homeless documentary curriculum, 2016 & 2019

  • CSUN RSCA grant, 2016, to begin One of Us documentary project on homelessness in Los Angeles.

  • CSUN China Institute Faculty Travel Grant, 2016, for visit to Wuhan University and Yangtze Universities in China, to conduct research, attend symposium, and guest lecture.

  • Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication Senior Faculty Fund Grant, for work on Africa photography anthology, 2014.

(download CV)

Making Portraits in Africa, Respectfully. Interview with Pixel Magazine

Former consultant with The Communication Initiative Network: Where communication and media are central to social and economic development.