In September of 2001 I accompanied my husband Gerard Dolan on a trip to Angola. We were there filming part of a documentary for CARE entitled
"The Last Child The Global Race to End Polio" http://www.lastchild.org which looks at the few remaining countries in the world suffering with Polio. Our travels took us from the capital of Luanda to the costal town of Benguela and into the interior of the country to the village of Balombo. Angola was still in a state of armed conflict at the time and our movements were restricted by land mines and soldiers. This being my first trip to Africa, and in a country under siege, had a profound effect on me. Yet even in a state of war and a country hovering on the edge of complete poverty the people stood out as friendly, gentle souls.
In April of 2002 we continued our Polio documentary this time in India. Our travels took us through Uttar Pradesh, one of the most Polio endemic regions of the world, and onto Gujarat a region that the previous year had been hit by one of Asiaâ€™s strongest and most devastating earthquakes. Again we were struck by the gentle nature of the people we came across, their striking looks and the richness of their culture.
On these and other trips with Gerard I accompanied him as his camera assistant and production assistant as well as helping out with audio and interviews from time to time. Being part of a production team gave me more immediate and personal access than a normal traveler would have had. It was during these brief encounters that I would lift up my camera to capture the smiles, the sadness and the dignity of the people I saw. The photographs I have selected represent the best of those moments and the spirit of the people I met in my travels.
Gerard Dolan passed away in October 2003.