Diana Zeynab Alhindawi

"I like to tell intimate stories in conflict areas, so the subjects of my stories are usually at risk in some way. They trust me and I think they open up so much easier because I am a woman. I don't think my work would have happened as quickly if I were a man. But recently I was on an assignment for an NGO in a very remote area of Northern Congo. There were some nomadic people in the area, very interesting and especially photogenic but they were in an area especially hard to get to. Because I am a woman, the NGO would not provide transportation b/c they said if the LRA attacked the region they would rape me. But there had been no LRA presence in that region because there are no elephants there and the LRA mostly attack while looking for elephants and ivory. I have experience in the Congo and I knew what the potential risks were and was willing to take them but the NGO would not budge and it was too expensive for me to hire private transportation to get there on my own. However when a male colleague showed up who had less experience in the region they offered him the opportunity to go up to the region with the nomadic people. The thing is, if the LRA caught men, they could be killed. The male photographer was allowed the choice to take the risk or not, but I wasn't. This is one of the reasons why there is so little work coming from women in these areas. It's not that we can't endure the hardships. It's that our opportunities are blocked..." Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi is a photojournalist who uses photography to explore the human condition across a variety of political and cultural contexts."