Ami Vitale: “Ripple Effect”

I had the pleasure of spotlighting the work of photographer Ami Vitale on ETG’s sister site as part the Annenberg Space for Photography’s “W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine” exhibition in Sept/Oct 2019. CLICK HERE to read about the exhibition. The exhibition runs through December 29, 2019.

Ami Vitale, Ripple Effect, 2009, Jasmin (wearing red) and Manisha Singh (white and blue sari) pose at the Baoli at Amer, a water well in the city of Japiur in India’s Rajasthan Thar desert; Photo by Ami Vitale; courtesy of the artist and Annenberg Space for Photography

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit.

Two women meet at a stepwell near India’s Rajisthan Thar desert. Water conservation is essential to survival in this arid region and sometime around 250 AD, stepwells were created to capture water during the intense rainfalls and hold it during the dry seasons. Although the structure is 1,000 years old, visitors can still climb down the 200 steps lining the retaining wall to the pool below.

Photographer Ami Vitale travels the world to document stories of poverty, health, and security—and most recently, the effects of climate change. One consistent subject throughout her work is the role of women in society. Vitale observed, “Women are the center of a village and if you empower that one woman she is going to change that entire society.”

Ripple Effect is the title both of this image and a public awareness campaign Vitale spearheaded to address these issues of uplifting societies by uplifting the women. The phrase finds a perfect metaphor in this image: two women in a serrated setting, enclosed and elevated by the architecture surrounding them, the well and the women, both providing life and sustenance for their people.

Be sure to visit this talented artist’s website to find out more about her and her work.

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