From Boko Haram’s Birthplace, Instagram Posts Beyond ‘Death and Despair’ — NY Times
In a part of Nigeria that’s been racked by Boko Haram raids and army counter-attacks, an amateur photographer roams the streets of her hometown, Maiduguri, to take photos of happiness amid the pain.
Inspired by Instagram accounts like @humansofny, which captures the lives of New Yorkers “one story at a time,” Ms. [Fati] Abubakar snaps portraits of vendors, refugees and students, posting them to Instagram at @bitsofborno with quotations or captions that describe them.
Boko Haram has affected nearly all of her subjects in some way.
“When they say there’s an insurgency here, people assume it’s nothing but death and despair,” Ms. Abubakar said. “I want to change the image. You can see, everyday life continues.”
In Maiduguri, she has become somewhat of a celebrity. Civilian vigilante militia members posted in the city to guard against Boko Haram look out for her, beating back children who flock to her as she goes about her work.
The guards want the kids to leave her alone, so she can go about her amateur photo-journalism, as she’s become somewhat of a local celebrity.
Check out her photos on Instagram. She’s got a good eye and is a magician at getting her subjects look relaxed and natural.