Rita Leistner is a Canadian, independent photojournalist based in Toronto. In 2003, unable to get a military embed, Rita walked to Iraq with Kurdish smugglers. Ritaâ€™s work has been exhibited widely in Canada and the United States and published in books and magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The Walrus, Macleanâ€™s, Ideas, Alphabet City, Colors and Mother Jones. She is co-author of Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq. Her photography has received many awards, including three Gold Medal Canadian National Magazine Awards. Rita has a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of Toronto, is a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York, and lectures widely on photojournalism at venues such as New York University, the University of Phnom Penh and The University of Toronto. She is a co-recipient of an Arts Partners in Creative Development (APCD) grant with playwright Marie Clements and Presentation House Theatre for their collaboration The Edward Curtis Project, which premieres at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Cultural Olympiad. Rita is represented by Redux Pictures in New York.