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:
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.
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.
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.
Designer and visual artist Jessica Erickson has worked in communications for more than 10 years. She is a former senior graphic designer at Oxfam America, where she contributed to a range of print, online, and multimedia projects.