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Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

The power of photography in 2009, part 2

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Note: This post is part 2 of a series about the power of photography in 2009.
 We are fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to work with a team of amazingly talented photographers from around the world. They each have the incredible ability to visually capture a complex number of characteristics—dignity, action, beauty, hardship, strength, and pride—in a striking, powerful way. This has always made it easier for me to communicate about the work that we do, while fostering the connection between our constituents and those people for whom we advocate.
I feel most lucky to be one of the first people at Oxfam to review new collections as they arrive from travels to the field. It is through these photos, and the stories that the writers bring back, that I learn about the intricate and personal details of the work that Oxfam is doing in collaboration with communities and local organizations around the world.
 
There are so many favorites to choose from, but here is a small collection of some of my favorites from the past year:
Photo: David Stubbs / Oxfam America
Photo: David Stubbs / Oxfam America

Sometimes it’s the small details that can make a photo compelling. In the above image from Peru, the visual beauty of the blue sky constrasts starkly with the reality of the subject matter: the barbed wire, chain-link fence, and plateaus of digging around a mineral mine in Cerro de Pasco, Peru.

Photo: Rebecca Blackwell / Oxfam America
Photo: Rebecca Blackwell / Oxfam America

Members of a village savings group in Mali. Rebecca Blackwell’s photo beautifully captures the graphic details of the vivid fabrics that the women are wearing, as well as this gesture of welcome and respect that the women use to begin their meetings.

Eloff-Mozambique
Photo: Brett Eloff / Oxfam America
Boys excavate rocks near a jatropha growing community in Mozambique. The angle of Brett Eloff’s photo really emphasizes the boys’ strength and energy, despite the hard physical work they’re doing.
Photo: Percy Ramirez / Oxfam America
Photo: Percy Ramirez / Oxfam America
I adore the above photo of two small boys with their family donkey in Peru. Their affection is really clear in the tender, jubilant way they are embracing the donkey, which is often a useful working animal for rural families in the Peruvian highlands. Donkeys are seen as usually stubborn but this one actually looks happy.
Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson / Oxfam America
Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson / Oxfam America
There’s such pride in this photo of a grandfather and grandson, taken in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where Oxfam is piloting a program to provide weather insurance for farmers. The way he tenderly holds his grandson’s hand reminds me of a picture of me and my grandfather when I was young.

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