Horn of Africa: Bringing dignity to drought victims through photojournalism
I’ve found myself standing alone in the desert a long way from anywhere, dirty, tired beyond words.
It’s not about a product or a client’s creative brief. It’s about human life as the landscape blurs past your open window as the heat strakes rise over the desert. The sun burns your skin red and you drift knowing you’re supposed to be there helping to raise awareness.
Yet in the back of your mind you wonder if you’re making any difference at all.
For over a decade I’ve been placed at the confluence of human suffering internally driven to be part of the solution to make images of consequence.
It’s a gift, a blessing if you will, to experience such beauty and such tragedy all in one place — rare fleeting moments where you stop being a “spectator” in life and allow yourself to be “thrust into the arena” for better or worse to find a way to raise awareness for those struggling to survive the famine in The Horn of Africa.
Famine was declared in two regions of Somalia on July 22, 2011 where 3.7 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Another 8 million people need food assistance in neighboring countries including Kenya and Ethiopia. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation a “catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought” and has appealed for immediate aid. Democracy Now! interviews Kiki Gbeho, country head in Somalia for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, by telephone in Nairobi. and talks to Christian Parenti, author of “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.” For a full transcript of the show go to Democracy Now! This 14:32 min July 22, 2011 video has been produced by Democracy Now!- The War and Peace Report.
A veteran of countless projects in all hemispheres, photojournalist Rodney Rascona has spent a decade covering famine in Ethiopia, the global food crisis in Kenya and HIV/AIDS education. Rascona is a founder of HEART, a medical program that enables children in the developing world to have life-saving heart operations that worked in 2004 in the tsunami fields in India/Indonesia. Rodney’s latest photographic exhibition, “The Pink Door Photographs“, has been created to generate funds and raise continued awareness for Haitian communities. See WNN story on severe drought HERE. For more information on Rodney Rascona and his ongoing work connect HERE
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