Acosia Red Elk

Photographing a person always has a spiritual feeling for me, but standing before Acosia as she dissolved one with her land was quite an astonishing and humbling experience.

We have so much to learn from our land’s indigenous culture.

Go to a pow wow, not only to watch the dancing, but also cross the cultural divide, dismiss any personal shyness and hesitation, and spend some time talking with someone from a tribe. Listen to their tales of history and beliefs. It’s opened my world and shifted my thinking substantially.

I can’t thank Acosia enough for letting me into a small part of her rhythmic world.

Watch her dance here.  Get the article here.

Acosia

Joni_Acosia_PDF-4

“Abebe” Goes to Vermont

“Abebe” has been curated into the upcoming “Blue” show at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction in Vermont.

We are especially excited for this, as this image is being considered as a cover for the upcoming book that will be released in September 2014.

All images from The Mercato Workers series were taken in the market in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

Abebe

“Where we began” series wins silver award in the 2014 Prix de la Photographie Competition

A few images from the “Where We Began” series were awarded a Silver medal in the 2014 Prix de la Photographie Competition in Paris, France this week.

I will be returning to the Afar region of Ethiopia this December to further develop the series.  It is my hope that these images will bring awareness to the critical needs of these nomadic tribes.

Please see the Barbara May Foundation regarding ways you can join this rally.  For large USA based donations, contact me for the 501C3 organization that directly funds this organization and its highly effective projects.

For more information, please refer to the Afar Pastoralist Development Association.

Afar Man At Hospital

Young Boys From Afar

Afar Nurse

Afar Man and Girls

Young Girls From Afar

 

The Guardian: Hamlin Article

Today, May 23, we celebrate International End Fistula Day.  May we band together to rally around the women who do not have access to health care and surgical procedures that can prevent this devastating condition.

The Guardian published an article about Dr. Hamlin and her life long quest to see the eradication of this condition.

Dr. Hamlin's 90th Birthday

The Fastest Boy in the World!

I am so very pleased to announce the publication of the children’s book “The Fastest Boy in the World“, which has used one of my images as a reference.  I love to see an image used in other art works.  This one is especially wonderful.

You can order the book here.

Here is the image, and the graphic illustration:

Boy running in Ethiopia

The Fastest Boy in the World FINAL

People Of Afar

Words fail me when I try to express how deeply I was riveted by the people I met in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Living a nomadic lifestyle, they are exceptionally beautiful, hyper aware of surroundings, and also attentive to adornment.  There is a grace and fortitude they exude that is haunting.

They live in the land where mankind began.

Young Boys From Afar

Young Girls From Afar

Afar Man and Girls

New Storytelling Format

We just launched a new visual format for telling some of the stories we capture, incorporating several types of media: still images, video, sound, and slideshows.

Follow this link to view the first two we created!  The first story is about Degie, a young woman in labor in rural Mota, Ethiopia , and the second story is about Fatuma, a camel milk producer near Jijiga, Ethiopia.

Stories

A mother contemplates her long walk home after surgery in Motta, Ethiopia (For the Barbara May Foundation)

Camel milk

Modern Day Pioneer Woman

Hot dang! We just received a copy of the latest issue of 1859 Magazine and the story about Rose and Darryl and their Triple H Ranch is in there.

We LOVE the video that editor Kevin Max made!

I had the chance to bring some of Rose’s homemade soaps to Ethiopia with me.  Here is a photo of Rose and also of a priestess holding a bar of Rose’s lovely soap:

Rose Howe

Ethiopian Priestess

 

 

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

 

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