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‘A Change in the Air’: An Exhibition for Promoting Development in Africa

As part of the year-long celebrations for the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of PENHA, an exhibition of photographs documenting the changing lives of the pastoralists in the Horn of Africa, taken by photojournalist Vanessa Champion who had travelled with PENHA in Uganda, was officially opened on Monday October 5th 2015 at Calumet’s flagship store in Drummond Street, London. The event attracted many viewers from different sectors including artists, photographers, celebrities, academics, philanthropists, non-governmental organisation staff and other interested individuals.

The colourful event presented PENHA’s landmark and achievements in the last 25 years, promoting and supporting pastoral development among the African communities. As Dr. Zeremariam Fre, PENHA Director briefly explained in his opening speech of the exhibition, PENHA’s mission has positively shaped the livelihoods of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa and it can still also play a key role in helping them. Vanessa went on to explain how she met PENHA at one of their Christmas gatherings in London and after hearing about their work in the Horn was compelled to help. She also gave a brief account of her incredibly memorable and life-changing journey in Uganda with PENHA.

The event which continued for two weeks was celebrated under the theme of ‘A Change in the Air’ which reflects the ongoing change and dynamism among the Horn of Africa pastoralist livelihoods. The photographic images presented were part of Vanessa Champion’s photojournalistic fieldwork to South-western Uganda where she was able to document the changes experienced by the Bahima communities in particular. Both PENHA and PhotoAid, of which Vanessa is founder, sponsored her visit. In addition to the photographic images, ten paintings made by a late Ethiopian artist Solomon Zemede in 1996 and also women’s handicrafts from both Ethiopia and Somaliland were presented.

As the feedback collected from the people who visited the exhibition shows, the event has helped foster a wider understanding regarding the pastoral livelihoods in Africa.

PhotoAid, Calumet Photographic, FUJIFILM and Vanessa Champion sponsored the event and PENHA thanks all the partners of the exhibition as well as people who viewed the exhibition and showed their solidarity with PENHA’s work, Vanessa Champion for playing key role in organising this event and also Jeff Salzer for coming from the US to document PENHA 25th anniversary events through his quality photographic images.

To buy the photojournalistic book titled ‘A Change in the Air’ by Vanessa Champion follow the link:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1320539025 and affordable prints can be bought from https://photoaidglobal.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/a-change-in-the-air-photography-exhibition-supporting-ngo-penha/