The straw basket and handbag makers of northern Ghana are drawing a lot of attention lately– enough, in fact, that two of my clients have each sent me to the region on separate occasions in recent months to get a close up glimpse of these fashionable totes. The groups that make them have banded together in cooperatives in order to buy supplies in bulk and save and lend amongst each other. Some groups have even managed to find financial backing and gain certified Fair Trade status, which would explain why Shared Interest, a fair trade investment firm, sent me there to capture these entrepreneurs at work. The colorful hand bags and baskets are crafted by groups of women using straw that is first rolled and split with their teeth, then dyed in vibrant colors before being woven into intricate patterns by hand. It’s a tradition that’s long been passed down through the[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "art"
We’ve reached a global hinge point in the treatment of HIV. People living with the disease are no longer passive beneficiaries. After more than a decade of receiving health and nutrition training, HIV+ people are often times living healthier lifestyles than many of their negative peers. Catholic Relief Services‘ Expert Client program places trained HIV+ community members in local health facilities where they guide new patients through the rigors of anti-retroviral treatment (ARV). By using their own experience of living with the disease to counsel and mentor, they empower the new patients to live more healthy and productive lives. I recently shot and produced this video for CRS in southern Malawi. The program is funded by USAID.Read More
Many NGO’s focus on building livelihoods through agriculture. What about the people that live in areas where crop production is literally not a viable option? Kenya’s Emali district has been hit by recurring drought for the last decade, making farming next to impossible. In this documentary short, which I shot and edited, we see the blueprint of a grant from the Government of New Zealand implemented by ChildFund Kenya called “Building Resources in Two Drought Affected Communities.” As our narrators tell us, the aim of the program is not just to build secure livelihoods of the program’s participants, but also to preserve precious and unique cultural traditions and craftwork among the Kamba and Maasai peoples in Emali. Along the way we get an idea of the artists’ creation process and even a beauty tip from the Maasai. The program has made quite a splash in New Zealand media. 3News, Dominion[…]Read More
Expecting lions, lemurs, and baobab trees? In contrast, my recent assignment in Madagascar with CARE was of a human-itarian nature. Madagascar certainly does shatter everyone’s expectations, however, mostly in a good way. This fall, CARE will hold an art exhibit in Atlanta, where the organization is based, as a fundraiser for its programs across the globe. Girls in Vatomandry District, Madagascar were recently invited to participate in the art process, and as you can see in the above video, were thrilled at the opportunity to do so. As part of my assignment in this Indian Ocean island nation off the coast of Africa, I was on hand to document some of the girls’ stories and record their messages. These messages, along with their artwork, will be presented at the Atlanta exhibit. PS. There are NO lions in Madagascar, but there is LOTS of rice.Read More
Not many of us can claim to have saved 100,000 lives. I recently spent a week in Rwanda photographing jointly for the Gates Foundation and the Global Fund, two of the greatest change-makers in global health today. The Gates Foundation is a major contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Together they save an estimated 100,000 lives each month. Above, a child receives a polio vaccine in a public health center in Kabuga, Rwanda. While health care is a controversial issue across the world, especially in US politics, we in the West might view it differently if were we dealing with the same epidemics people face in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. Here, UN, PEPFAR or Global Fund-supported public health centers are the primary means for accessing care for diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV. Treatment for such diseases would be far out of reach for most[…]Read More