Joni Kabana is the woman behind the lens for Dignity Period, providing us a glimpse into the lives of women and girls in Ethiopia. Joni is an award-winning international photographer with a special talent for humanitarian imagery, who thrives in unfamiliar places and situations. In a recent interview in Photographer’s Forum, Joni stated that when she’s thrust into the unknown, “that’s when I feel most alive and my senses are fiercely alert.” Joni’s exceptional photography is matched only by her ceaseless curiosity about humanity and limitless compassion, necessary for the work she does for Dignity Period and other humanitarian organizations.
Words alone don’t do her images justice; Joni’s images illuminate both the need and impact of Dignity Period’s work in Ethiopia. Whether it is an image of school girls excelling in school due to increased attendance, or women gaining financial independence from working in the Mariam Seba Factory, Joni’s images remind us why our work is so important. Joni’s adventurous soul has brought her to photograph in nations across the developing world such as Bhutan, India, Madagascar, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
While not everyone will travel to these areas, Joni’s images have the ability to transport viewers connecting them with her subjects on a deeply, human level. Joni explains that her motivation for this difficult work comes from her love of “bringing to the masses the awareness and motivation to take action on a condition or issue.” Joni is deeply dedicated to not only the artistic elements of her work, but of her work’s ability to bring about positive change in the lives of her subjects.
Dr. Lewis Wall, President of Dignity Period’s board, praises Joni’s unique gift for this type of work in the interview by stating “Joni captures the human spirit that’s there in spite of all the difficulties. Through her photos, the potential donor gets a connection with the issue or the person on the other side of the world, and that stirs their compassion, which then leads to action.”
Joni recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia and we are excited to share her new images of the women and girls whose lives are being transformed by Dignity Period. We look forward to celebrating Dignity Period’s work with Joni and displaying her photography at our Annual Spring Gala on April 1st. Visit Joni’s website and browse her extensive portfolio of subjects near and far, which encapsulates our shared human experience.