Hao Guo is a visual storyteller committed to make a difference by changing some minds and hearts.
He holds a Master of Journalism from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (documentary track), and has a background in photography and fine art.
Below is a selection of his recent work.
Filmography & Photography
A Way (Film, 24:41, password-protected)
A short documentary that tells the stories of three Americans who converted to Buddhism and ordained as monastics. As they go about their lives at their respective monasteries in Mount Shasta, CA, Mountain View, CA, and Newport, WA, we learn about their struggles, their discoveries, and what they left behind.
The Lottery (Video, 2:42)
Bharat immigrated to the U.S. in 2008 as a recipient of the Diversity Immigrant Visa. After working countless minimum-wage jobs for 9 years, he took over a convenient store, with a new understanding of the American Dream.
A Years Long Emergency (Video, 8:25)
West Contra Costa County residents rely on emergency rooms as far as 20 miles away and now, that access may get even worse.
East Lake Street, Minneapolis (Photography)
On East Lake Street, a vibrant and diverse area of Minneapolis, I held up a sign asking for people's stories in exchange for portraits.
I Wish People Knew... (Photography)
What is something you wish people knew about you? I asked folks this questions and they all had amazing answers after much deliberation.
Lorna (Photo slideshow with audio, 3:30)
A hairdresser in Minneapolis, Lorna is afflicted by dermatitis, diabetes, and alcoholism. She trusted me to document her life and present it to a larger audience. I thank her for being open and vulnerable.
Beautiful Oakland (Photography)
A project about the beauty of Oakland, CA, as well as its people, cultures, history, nature, and everything that makes the city uniquely beautiful.
Living away from home for the first time, first year college students write about the feeling that they get when they miss home.
“What is that? Is it Pakistan?” This was usually the response Andrew received whenever he told people that he’s from Uzbekistan. “I was proud to say I’m Uzbek.” Andrew, an Uber driver who lives in San Francisco, was used to his passengers never having heard of his homeland. “No, it’s Uzbekistan. We’re well-known for food,” he said, his voice rising as he talked about the pistachios and dried fruits produced in his hometown.
Then Uzbekistan suddenly became famous on October 31, when Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant who was inspired by the Islamic State group, allegedly drove a truck into a bike lane in Manhattan, killing 8 people and injuring 11. Overnight, Uzbekistan was in the news, mentioned alongside ISIS and terrorism. The Central Asian country was now on Americans’ minds, but only because of the horror associated with one of its citizens, much to the chagrin of Uzbeks living in the U.S.
Subhi Nahas knew he had to flee Syria to protect himself when al-Qaeda forces invaded his hometown in 2011 and vowed to “cleanse the city of all sodomites.” Worried that his voice and demeanor would get him into trouble, he hired a taxi driver to drive eight hours to Beirut and navigate the gauntlet of government and militia checkpoints, while he pretended to be mute and deaf. “It was very stressful,” Nahas recalled. “There were a lot of aircraft, gunmen, and extremists.”
Five years later, as he sits in a busy café in San Francisco’s Mission district, Nahas talks about his arduous journey as a gay refugee with a surprising lack of gravity. After all, he has recounted his escape dozens of times while applying for refugee status, and dozens more times since then as an activist. At 30, Nahas is well-coiffed and stylish. A scar on his chin, the result of his father’s abuse, suggests his turbulent past.
“Does a nation have the right to control who comes in and who goes out?” Maria Echaveste asked around 50 attendees at a forum on immigration law held Tuesday night at the University of California, Berkeley. “Under the UN [United Nations] charter, you have the right to move as a human being, but that does not mean you have the same rights when you go into one country from another country.”
A co-ed pre-law fraternity, Kappa Alpha Pi, hosted the panel discussion on immigration law in the United States. Hoping to reach people who are targeted by recent policy changes as well as prospective immigration lawyers, the organizers invited three panelists working in public policy, law practices, and legal aid.
©2013-2018 Hao Guo
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