With camera in hand, it’s not unusual to find 24-year-old photojournalist Maggie Andresen following female motorcyclists around Kigali, or documenting a football match of survivor child brides in Kenya.
Although photography and writing are her passion, she didn’t always know it. Born in New York City to a family who “valued art,” she grew up with the New York Times at her doorstep. It didn’t take long for her to realize there were people who were behind those photographs, going to far-away places to document people’s lives. All it took was learning how to use a film camera at 16, and she was sold– she’d become a photojournalist.
Shortly after graduating from Temple University, Maggie received the “Princeton in Africa” fellowship. Its mission is to engage college graduates in a lifelong relationship with the African continent by pairing fellows with local organizations. Maggie was matched in Kigali in 2017, and after completing a one year program, she returned to the States briefly before making a permanent move to Rwanda in 2019.
An unofficial Kigali guide to our group, Maggie’s passion for the region is inescapable. She hopes to expand her news coverage to the Central and East African regions, and looks forward to potentially collaborating with other 2019 IWMF Rwanda fellows in the future. “The most important thing I’ll take from this fellowship experience is the privilege of watching other incredibly talented and very different female journalists working in the field,” she said, “it’s the relationships that mean the most.”