Jahi Chikwendiu
Jahi wanted to be practical but so far, his passion for visual storytelling is winning. Armed with degrees in in mathematics and math education, he was teaching high school when a chance meeting with photographer & editor Michel du Cille during a visit to The Washington Post inspired him to spend his summer break as a freelance photographer for his Lexington, Kentucky hometown newspaper. At the end of that summer, he was offered a full-time position. 3 months later, the Kentucky News Photographers Association named him their 1998 Photographer of the Year. In 2001 he joined The Washington Post as a staff photographer. At the Post, he has covered stories on DC’s broken school system and the displacement of some of the city’s long-time Black American residents. Around the U.S, he has put focus on the precarious position of Muslims post 9/11; the country’s ever-present, often violent, state of racism; and immigration policies. Globally he has covered Somali immigrants in Kenya, discrimination against Sudanese refugees in Cairo, genocide in Darfur, cluster bomb victims in South Lebanon, and more. To date, he has worked in close to 40 countries spanning 5 of the 7 continents gaining recognition from among others the National Press Photographers Association, and World Press Photo. But his heart always comes back to the question of how to best evolve as a storyteller and help cultivate the next generation of visionaries.
Khalil Bridges: From Boy to Man in Baltimaore, Maryland, USA
Khalil Bridges is an 18-year-old senior at one of Baltimore’s poorest and most violent high schools. Renaissance Academy is located in West Baltimore not far from where riots exploded a year ago. Three Renaissance students were killed during a three month span this school year, including a 17-year-old named Ananias Jolley who was stabbed inside the school. Jolley’s murder has been turned into a mantra of sorts that’s been put on t-shirts for every student: “Graduate for Jolley.” Tributes to him can be seen all over the school. Amid the violence, the school has endured. There are adults at Renaissance Academy trying to save teens, and they consider Khalil Bridges one of their most promising proteges. Two years ago Bridges was dealing drugs and wouldn’t let adults touch him let alone guide him. Now, he has a mentor he talks to daily and a network of adults who have pushed him to give speeches in front of state lawmakers and write op-eds for the newspaper. Recently, they helped him buy a suit for a visit to the White House. Though his father is out of the picture and his mother is seriously ill, he is hoping to go to community college and make something of his life. But it won’t be easy, even with the help he’s being given. He’s very representative of the forces arrayed against young black men in Baltimore, which one study describes as the worst place in the country for African American boys to grow up in terms of social mobility.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.