Jane Hahn is an amazingly talented freelance photographer who has been based in West Africa for eleven years.
Looking through her portfolio is a journey – her portraits of the region are truly piercing, often both intimate and haunting. After learning that like me, she got a late start in journalism (we both started at 29 after pursuing other careers), I wanted to better understand what drove Jane to throw herself into this under-reported region so consciously and what has kept her there for the past decade….
Why did you choose to pursue a career in photojournalism in West Africa?
I was drawn to West Africa because of its culture, diversity and resilience. Through early travels my eyes were opened to the incomplete narrative that was dominant in the West at the time. I wanted to learn more about the complexities of such a vast and misunderstood continent and its relation to the global community.
Focusing on West Africa has not only helped me learn about the many individual countries that make up the region, but also their relation to each other culturally, religiously, economically, and politically, which helps when piecing together a larger narrative. The challenge of telling stories in a region largely ignored by the international media continues to be a difficult, but rewarding, path.
– Sarah Kinosian