These Photos Exist So People Won’t Say “That Never Really Happened”

Photo: Courtesy of Alex Potter.
Fresh out of nursing school and just 22 years old, Alex Potter dreamed of being a photojournalist and bridging the gap between her home in the Midwest and the Middle East. After graduating from college, Potter left her native Minnesota and traveled to Jordan. When she saw that Yemen, a country on the Arabian Peninsula, had a big election coming up, she hopped on a plane in a matter of hours. Potter has been living in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, ever since.
When Houthi rebels seized power in February and forced out the country's president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, Potter pointed her lens at the families around her as they struggled to cope. Airstrikes from neighboring Saudi Arabia, as well as the participation of fighters from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group, or ISIS, have made the conflict a complex one. In March, ISIS carried out two major suicide bomb attacks at mosques in Sana'a, killing 137 people.
From behind her lens, Potter captured the anguish of her friends and neighbors when the section of the Old City she was living in was destroyed by an airstrike in June.
Potter's full breathtaking photo essay, "The Unthinkable: An Ancient City Plunges Into Darkness as a War on Civilians Rages" was recently published on NPR's website. Potter shares her photos and speaks with Refinery29 from Djibouti.

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