Last September colleague and friend Danielle Villasana and I started editing and writing for The Everyday Projects Medium publication. Back in July 2014, we were living in Lima, Peru, and the work of Everyday Africa caught our eye. We wanted to bring its mission– “an attempt to form a more complete portrayal of life on the continent than the mainstream media allows”–to Latin America too. So along with two other colleagues, we started Everyday Latin America. Since then, we’ve met several of the contributors to the accounts and Everyday Africa founders Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill.
The Everyday accounts on Instagram are all volunteer. The photographers contributing to them do so out of concern and commitment to the craft of journalism and the regions where we live and work. Being part of an industry on a shifting and often shaky foundation, The Everyday Projects has been a ray of light to me, and I’m thrilled the Medium publication has allowed me to become more involved with telling stories that I think matter.
Here are a few of the articles I most enjoyed writing:
Movement and Survival: Challenging the Way We Tell Refugee Stories: On World Refugee Day we ask the creators of @EverydayMigration and several photographers about their work covering human movement around the globe.
Five Year of Documenting Everyday Life on Instagram: In March 2012, Everyday Africa launched and gave rise to a movement of everyday life photography. We recount its history and reflect on its impact.
Seeing Iraq Beyond the Frontlines: Photographers Hawre Khalid and Sebastian Meyer give us a more rich and complex view of a country at war.
The Power of Collective Storytelling Online: Mikkel Stjernberg, Bjarke Myrthu and Joachim Bøggild designed and built The Everyday Projects new website, with the financial support of Photowings. We spoke with Mikkel and Bjarke to learn more about their experience, philosophy and latest project, Storyfriend.
Last fall I traveled to four countries – Lebanon, Jordan, Nigeria and India – to witness what people are doing to stop violence against women and girls. I am honored to be part of this project – a collaboration between News Deeply and Oxfam in the Middle East – and look forward to sharing the series with you all later this year. In each country we selected one project to profile in video, which we are in the process of finalizing. For now, here’s a glimpse at what is to come. Globally violence against women is still prevalent, but it’s heartening to see initiatives of all kinds and scales out there serving those most in need.
Hoor saw the sea for the first time in Istanbul. When she looks at it, she says she feels calm and comforted.
Important stories are usually difficult to listen to and also to tell. I recently photographed Hoor to depict the story of an Afghan teenage girl in Istanbul, written by Fariba Nawa. Hoor escaped a forced marriage in Afghanistan, defied deportation in Iran and crossed the border into Turkey with smugglers, and without her family. Once in Turkey, she was raped by one of the smugglers. As the title of the article reads, unfortunately the refugee trail can be as dangerous as the war left behind.
Hoor is now living at a state-run orphanage, studying Turkish and in the process of getting her Turkish residency. In her notebook she jots down Turkish words and their translations in her native Dari. Hoor left three younger sisters behind in Afghanistan, who she says inspire her to learn Turkish and look for work so she can find a way to bring them to Istanbul.
See the full article published by PRI’s Across Women’s Lives.
Organizations and individuals like this woman from United Rescues have helped put a roof over her head and settle her in Turkey. Hoor embraces the woman in this picture, who she now calls sister.
It’s rare that I’m the one being interviewed, but sometimes it is good to have the tables turned. Thanks to Women in Foreign Policy for giving me the chance to talk a bit about journalism, Istanbul and Everyday Latin America.
Read the full interview on the Women in Foreign Policy website.
I can still hear Ghina’s voice in my head. The 16-year-old Syrian refugee spoke like a 20-something seasoned activist (until she started talking about her favorite South Korean boy band!). Ghina’s father was arrested years ago, and the family hasn’t heard from him since. Her sisters made it to the U.S. and Germany through education opportunities, but Ghina and her mother are still living in southern Turkey. We visited Ghina to learn more about what life is like for her divided family and how the war has affected her education.
This is the third story I had the opportunity to tell for the Fuller Project for International Reporting about education in Turkey for Syrian teenage girls. Read the full article on Syria Deeply.