I come from the world of humanitarian aid and international development, first getting my start in as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa, where I lived in a mud hut with a straw roof in a tiny village of 40 people.and later in a small town of 10,000. Without running water or electricity, I cooked on a portable burner hooked up to a small cannister of gas. I perfected my French language skills and picked up Fulfulde and Djerma. After 3 1/2 years in Niger, I returned to the Washington, DC area, and over the next ten years, I worked for several non-governmental organizations, large and small, including the American Red Cross, Population Services International, and Counterpart International, managing food security and public health programs in Africa and Asia. During this period, I spent two years in South Sudan, where I lived in a tent the entire time!
While I always loved photography, I only began to work professionally as a photographer in 2007, when I returned from South Sudan. Since then, my photography has been recognized and/or published by numerous international NGOs, magazines and other publishers, national and international photographic associations, and commercial art galleries and art consulting firms. I also received an FY08 Creative Projects Grant from the Montgomery County Arts & Humanities Council for travel/documentary photography. My work has been described as strikingly beautiful, haunting, thought-provoking, and having 'the eye that makes the ordinary simply extraordinary.'
View more about me at http://archive.ireneabdouphotography.com.