The Girl in the Red Dress (2018)

The Girl in the Red Dress is a photo I captured of Nawal, a South Sudanese girl living in Uganda with her family. I am also from Sudan. At the time I was staying in a compound community in Uganda. I went for a walk and found a group of children playing, Nawal was amongst them. She is the eldest of three and was taking care of her sister while playing with the other kids. I was capturing wide photos of the children when Nawal instantly posed and gave off a powerful gaze to the camera (cameras usually do the gazing). It was unexpected. I was pleased to see the confidence. It’s not the way children in Africa are usually portrayed. She is free from any misconceptions. I believe the images of Nawal stuck with me and others for her powerful confrontational stare back at the camera. Her pose is also reminiscent of Top Model poses which spoke to the influence of the West. In the short time I photographed her she exhibited confidence, free spirit, and accountability.

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