Africa is a project with sponsorship from the Nike Foundation called “The Girl Effect,” to help end female poverty in the world. They sent me to Rwanda and Ethiopia to document amazing girls throughout both countries who encapsulated agency, autonomy, empowerment and achievement as a way of demonstrating the power of female potential and creating new opportunities and access to role models within the global community.
I met so many incredible young women and girls on the trip and began immersing myself in taking images of what each girl’s brilliance is. I was struck by the conscientious pairings and combinations of unexpected and seemingly disparate objects in each girl’s room: an ornate gold-framed portrait on a sparse, shadowy wall, a showing off of high-heeled shoes hung on hung on wire outside her door, like a museum installation. I wanted each portrait to be an appreciation or celebration of each individual girl — how she concretizes her sensibility into form. Each image is like a poem, specific to that girl’s voice and vision, be it gentle, innocent or intense.
Africa is also a study of humanity, texture, customs, traditions, lifestyle, light – stark, but with so much intimacy.