Read, Set, Print! The First Prints For Prints Project

Our first Prints For Prints project was quite the ride!  Having only worked with the printers a few times before we left, we were a bit nervous about how we would perform in the field under extreme conditions. And we also did not know how we would work as a group, in Africa.

Soon after we arrived, we met up with my transportation and translator team in Ethiopia and they surprised us by taking us to see a football match between Ethiopia and Nigeria projected on a big screen which was set up in a beautiful park.  It was the perfect place for both groups to get to know each other in a spirited setting.

Dani and friends

The next morning, we got up early, grabbed our gear, and set out to go to Sheno, Ethiopia, the childhood home of our guide, Dani. His family let us set up the printers in their home so we could make photos and give prints to his extended family and to villagers around the area.  It did not take long to get the process up and running, and within a few minutes we cranked out our first print.

It was a beauty!

Sheno Ethiopia

I also brought prints that I had made before I left from images captured a year before and gave them to the family. It was an honor to spend time in this village and to see how much our prints were appreciated.

Sheno, Ethiopia

Once our process was humming along, we then branched out and made prints in various locations around Addis Ababa and in smaller villages outside of the city, some as far away as Lalibela and Arba Minch.

One other commitment of the Prints For Prints project is to train local students on various aspects of photography, in one-on-one sessions. We were fortunate to be able to coordinate this training with DESTA for Africa and the Nike Foundation’s Girl Hub projects.

Bill Purcell in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Steve in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Girl Hub Ambassadors in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

It was especially gratifying to watch local students in the workshop take over the printing, and make and donate prints to others that they met on the streets and in compounds.

Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We printed from any spot we could find, and even sometimes while on the go!

Bill Purcell in Ethiopia

We also loved giving our cameras to the subjects and letting them photograph us. Such fun!

Heather and Steve in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We made prints in places we never imagined, such as on top floors of high rise construction sites, and also in hospitals in remote areas of the Afar region.

Hospital in Afar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I also brought a print for each market worker I had photographed a year ago.  We laid the prints out on the ground, and people searched for those they saw in the prints.  My Ethiopian friend Habtamu and I gave each worker who arrived a print of themselves and they were really happy to receive it.

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Market Workers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Here are two of my finished portraits, created in two scenarios. The first image is Fatuma and her daughter Semed, right outside of their kitchen where they prepare food for a hospital in the Afar region.  The second image shows Raya in his place of employment, a construction site in the Bole region of Ethiopia.

Afar, EthiopiaAddis Ababa, Ethiopia

There is much to process about this first trip, and I look forward to making a few changes to the process so that we can have an even better experience during the next offering of this service.

Thank you to the community of photographers and other supporters who generously donated their prints, time and ideas to make this project fly!

Joni Kabana, Portland, Oregon, USA

 

Cameras! Books! Supplies! For A Good Cause

I just returned from spending some amazing time with two groups of photography students in Ethiopia and I could not be more excited!

Each student had a different skill set level, but each and every one of them had an incredible eagerness to learn and their love for the craft was so very apparent. Passion abounds in Ethiopia for learning photography!

However, some students did not have access to a camera and had to borrow ours for the day.  I would love to find cameras, lenses, photography books, and other supplies to donate to the new photography school that is being developed by the amazing Aida Muluneh through her DESTA For Africa organization.

Any donations can be sent or dropped off to me and I will ensure that they go directly to the school.

Many thanks for your consideration!

 

Prints For Prints participant Bill Purcell gives a quick lesson to a student in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia:

Prints For Prints Students

 

A student gives a print to a shoe shine woman and her baby:

Prints For Prints Students

 

Aida Muluneh and I, on the first day we met each other:

Aida Muluneh and Joni

 

Faces: Juried By Elizabeth Avedon

It is an honor to have one of my photos juried by Elizabeth Avedon into the exhibit “Faces” at the Darkroom gallery.  The exhibit will run through December 2013 and for the first week of January 2014.

The Malagasy are beautiful and spirited, and we are happy that “Fetra” will be celebrated in this exhibit.

Fetra, Malagasy Boy II, Mahajunga, Madagascar

A Backstage Dream

Making my way down the long dark hallway, I hear voices coming from everywhere. Booming voices, little chattering voices, a squeal of delight here and there, and just a tad of controlled angst from one isolated voice as curtain time nears.

I am backstage, at a rehearsal just before opening night of  “Dream”, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s first performance of the new season.  And I am in awe.

The elaborate costumes! The whirls of practice leaps! The whispers! The feet pawing at a box of stability ensuring rosin! The wide-eyed excitement from tiny dancer Cupid and lightning bugs and butterflies!

I don’t know much about dance except that I love to see it, and do it. Music flowing through a body, silence too: we don’t realize dance’s impact until we find ourselves shaking a leg at someone’s wedding or letting ourselves surrender to a drum in a village in Africa, or watching a professional dancer onstage move in ways we only wish we could.

Oh, how it can alter our mood, outlook on life and frame of reference to what is happiness. If only we would do it more often ourselves. But for now, our eyes can drink in the wonders of how our bodies are capable of expressing rhythm through the mastery of accomplished dancers.

Being backstage gives us a glimpse into the immense amount of work that goes into a performance.  What strikes me the most is seeing the people who are sweeping the floors: they are true dancers themselves, back and forth and back and forth, they sway as the live orchestra warms up. 

And the woman who is on duty calling the lights and curtains and stage entries…can she be more alert? Her gaze is steady and strong, coordinating so many moving parts and people and props and pulleys, yet she possesses a calm fortitude under immense pressure that is inspiring.

I wonder if being around the dancers influences a support staff’s dance. Perhaps we all should carry such grace into our daily lives.

I see a dancer, she must be new to the company, and she has the look of terror in her eyes.  But I watch her search the eyes of a principal dancer as she observes their every move. Her eyes soften and fear is replaced by confidence as she sees this seasoned dancer wink at her. And with that, she enters the stage, dances with her heart, and exits with elation.

Inspiring, energetic, passionate, and feverish.

This is Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Oregon Ballet Theatre Backstage

Prints For Prints Team Ethiopia 2013

We will soon embark upon our Ethiopia 2013 Prints For Prints project.  Today we gathered to do a test run on our printers, and all systems are GO!

Here are the members of the team with links to their websites:

Heather Binns

Steve Bloch

Joni Kabana

Bill Purcell

Constance Spurling

photo

L-R: Heather Binns, Bill Purcell, Constance Spurling, Joni Kabana, Steve Bloch

(Photo by Ben Opsahl)

Oregon Ballet Theatre

The new brochure is out for Oregon Ballet Theatre!  All of these images were shot in the studio (minus the Nutcracker images) where we worked up a sweat on a hot summer’s day.

Gard Communications did the design work and I am truly stunned at the job they did.  And, oh how those dancers can leap.  Over and over and over again.

It was an honor to be able to work on this great assignment and watch with amazement how the dancers moved and personified facial expressions on command.

 

Seasonal Brochure

Seasonal Brochure

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