Laura Rainsford

Rankin. Cheka Kidogo (‘Laugh a little’).

Posted in Africa, Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Oxfam, Photography, Portrait, Rankin by Laura Rainsford on January 13, 2010

Portrait and fashion photographer Rankin visited the DRC in 2008 to capture the faces and smiles of refugee camps in the country. The resulting exhibition “Cheka Kidogo”, Swahili for “laugh a little”, also now an Oxfam calendar, comprises of beautiful, wonderfully heart-felt portraits.

Here are some of my personal favourites….


“Cheka Kidogo”, for me, is portrait photography at its very best.

Beautifully simple portraits (ie. Rankins trademark white backdrop) with bags of character crucially aimed at raising awareness of an important appeal. I think what is so striking about these portraits, Jasmine, a young girl, Tumanini, a tailor, is that they defy the style, the feeling of traditional photography of war and disaster victims.

The people in these photographs really shine through as individuals, with humour and warmth.

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