As a writer, I’m the biggest word fan there is–but I also appreciate the power of photography as a means for making an instant emotional connection. Beginning with the stunning Rankin photos from the Democractic Republic of the Congo that we highlighted in the January 2009 issue of our magazine, OXFAMExchange, it seemed like photography really came to the forefront this year, especially as a way to tell stories about the people behind our work. On that note, here are a few (very subjective) picks for my favorite Oxfam images from the year.
Many unforgettable images come to mind when I think of my trip to Ethiopia earlier this year, but I especially like this portrait of Loko Dadacha, one of the most extraordinary people I met during my visit. You can really sense the great strength–physical and emotional–of this widow and mother of six from Gutu Dobi, Ethiopia, who is helping to lead her community during a time of ongoing drought.
Women from the Banakoro, Mali, village Saving for Change group–dubbed Sabougnuma, or “good deed”–hold their weekly meeting. I like how this colorful photo really captures the community spirit of the savings groups, where women work together to help each other save money and start small businesses.