These are some of the first images from a story I've been working on the past few weeks. There is much more to this story than what is in the photos right now. I hope to fill in the gaps these next several weeks. Let me know what you think.
Gambian refugee Musa Saidykhan fled his country after being arrested, tortured, and repeatedly followed by the government for his journalism. Now in his third month in the United States, he is working hard to provide for his family and begin a new life.
March 10, 2009
March 9, 2009
What are you willing to give up for your ideals? Musa Saidykhan is a Gambian journalist living in Grand Rapids. He was forced to flee his country after years of harassment and finally imprissionment from a government that didn't look kindly on his style of journalism.
Musa has been gracious enough to allow me to tell his story of starting anew in America through photos. This entry could be entitled, "1600 and a prayer" because that's what it was like shooting in the apartment. I saw this moment about to happen and I fired off a few frames. This was the clearest, but it's still pretty dark. Friday it's off to the Islamic Center where Musa prays.
The first morning at the Michigan Press Photographer's Association seminar I woke up to this. Dan was kind enough to throw open the curtains to let the morning rays blind me. No luck sleeping in with Dan around. Soon after, we set off looking for the continental breakfast. After some initial confusion involving an elevator trip to the 5th floor, we discovered that none existed. No luck there. But after coffee and egg sandwichs at Tim Horton's we were ready for the judging.
It was inspiring to see some of the great photojournalism being done around the state. You can see all the winning images here. I was pleased to see Central Michigan well represented. There are some great people here. Hopefully, in these coming years we will continue to see a culture of photojournalism being built. I want to be a part of it.
**Side Note** Funniest moment of the weekend: watching a bridesmaid do a header into the pool, dress and all.
March 2, 2009
On the way back north from the annual Michigan Press Photographers Association seminar Dan, Libby and Victoria and I stopped along highway 127 at some old abandoned buildings we scoped out earlier. There were a bunch of interesting artifacts, and we spent about forty or so minutes there until our fingers were too cold to fire off any more frames. You can see more from this shoot on Dan's blog.