- Joni Kabana
My main focus area for content gathering is maternal health and welfare, small business loans, and girls' education in Africa. Even though I work on assignments across the globe, most of my current work is in Ethiopia, where I am developing a more intimate relationship with the people within this culture.
I love being in places that are unfamiliar to me, and am adept at finding ways to communicate without language, hiring fixers who can be trusted, and relating on the most primal base: through the sharing of humanistic traits and goals. I also find that humor paves the way into people's hearts in a similar manner as does music and dance, and even in the most tender situations, people like to smile. I have traveled to the most remote and rural places in Ethiopia and Madagascar the last several years and am steady and calm under trying situations.
I have spent time in difficult situations and during political strife (Darjeeling, India, Goma, Congo DRC and to the Somalian border in Ethiopia) and have documented the most sensitive subjects such as fistula and prolapse conditions, always maintaining the dignity and power of the subject. I never take images of people who have not consented, and I obtain consent prior to entering a scene so that the subject does not feel pressured.
I also teach extensively in the US, Europe and in developing nations. It is my goal to teach at least one local person while I am on assignment how to gather content, as my intention is to pass these skills on to indigenous talent.