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Benjamin Drummond / Sara Steele July 5, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mozambique.
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Editor’s Note: This engaging video about the forgotten topic of eye care in Mozambique is worth checking out. The strong stills and video are well edited, and with the infectious music and lilting Portuguese, the young African characters come to life. Good to see documentary work portraying Africa in a positive light for a change. Love to hear your comments on this piece.

Photographer Benjamin Drummond (b.1979, USA) and producer Sara Joy Steele (b.1978, USA) have been telling stories about people, nature and climate change for almost a decade. They work with a diverse range of editorial, nonprofit and agency clients to tell important stories through photography, video and strategic branding. Benj’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Mother Jones, Orion and PDN and has been exhibited at more than a dozen events and venues including the Houston Center for Photography and the Ansel Adams / Mumm Napa Fine Art Gallery. They are members of Aurora Select and are currently serving as project representatives on Blue Earth’s Board of Directors.

About the Story:

“Joel de Melo Bambamba and Suzete Guina are studying to become two of Mozambique’s first optometrists. After a series of civil wars left their country one of the poorest in the world, the population of almost 24 million is just beginning to recover. Yet, there are zero optometrists in Mozambique, and poverty and blindness are inextricable. The Mozambique Eyecare Project aims to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of avoidable blindness through optometrist education. There are now 56 students enrolled in the project, thanks to a partnership between the Dublin Institute of Technology, Lúrio Univeristy in Mozambique and the International Centre for Eyecare Education.”

Sven Torfinn July 3, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mozambique.
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Mozambique, Maputo, November 2004

Sven Torfinn, (Belgium, b.1971) studied photography at the Academy for Fine Arts Sint Joost in Breda, The Netherlands from 1990 to 1995. After a small stray off to fashion photography, he worked as a freelancer for Dutch media. In 1999 Sven Torfinn moved to Namibia where he briefly worked for Reuters and contributed to a countrywide HIV/Aids campaign in corporation with UNICEF. In 2000 Sven Torfinn based himself in Nairobi, Kenya, from where he travels all over the continent, working on assignments for Dutch and International media and NGO’s. Among them De Volkskrant, Elsevier, Economist, The Guardian, Observer, Time, Medicine Sans Frontiers, WHO, Action Aid. His work is represented in Europe by Hollandse Hoogte and Panos Pictures in London. His awards include: World Press Photo (2005), Zilveren Camera Awards (2003, 2005) and the Dick Scherpenzeel prize (2006).

About the Photograph:

After his first encounter with East and Central Africa, Sven “concluded” that just as correspondents, photographers should base themselves in a particular region, instead of traveling around the globe from one hot spot to the other. By living on a continent like Africa the chance is bigger that you develop an understanding for it, and the produced pictures could start showing something more than the already known image of wars, famines and other disasters. For this image Sven comments: “This a continent of young people. They are in the majority, they don’t have the lead yet, but soon…” in other words Sven is hopeful.

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