“As a journalist, I often feel a deep responsibility to share the stories that people tell me, especially in a country like South Sudan, a ‘neglected conflict’ that has seen famine, war and economic crisis.”
Stefanie Glinski worked as a print journalist for many years but only in the last few years discovered her love for photography. She was in Nepal filing stories daily when she realised she needed to tell these stories visually.
Glinski is now a photojournalist who documents conflict and humanitarian crisis. Her work has taken her to numerous countries, but she is currently living in South Sudan covering a variety of intimate and personal stories, particularly in areas of conflict. Glinski’s aim is to reveal the injustice of the children living in these places and does so particularly well with her project Child Soldier. South Sudan’s war has had many victims, and among them are about 19,000 children who have been recruited into the armed forces. “Earlier this year, about 300 child soldiers – both boys and girls – were released from the armed forces in South Sudan. The release came with a big ceremony in Yambio, a town in the southwest of South Sudan. Some of the children were barely ten years old and during interviews with them I found out that a number of them were forced to kill. During my assignment, I needed to make sure that the children’s identities were protected, which is why none of their names are mentioned and there are no photographs showing their full faces.” Glinski’s photographs are not only empathetic towards the vulnerable children who feature in them, but also tell the story well enough to conjure shock and emotion within any spectator.
Although Glinski’s work can be challenging from an emotive perspective, she feels it’s her duty to ensure these children and their stories don’t go unheard. The more visible they become to the world, the more chance they have. Being one of very few photojournalists in the area, her work is barely tolerated by the government and get rather dangerous, but she chooses to do it anyway for the sake of the children and to help make a difference.
all images © Copyright Stefanie Glinski