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Instagram Spotlight: Compassion and Determination

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Left: Anita, a 19 year-old girl who was married at 16 in Moshi, Tanzania. Right: A rainbow in Enebakk, Norway.

Covering some of the world’s most pressing issues is no easy task. In a time when people are frequently inundated with photos, it’s difficult to get a message out to the public through the noise. However, some photographers, like Marcus Bleasdale, relentlessly pursue difficult stories despite this fact. Bleasdale has covered issues such as child labor in the U.S., ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic (CAR), and malnutrition in Djibouti.

Because of Bleasdale’s commitment to telling the stories of underrepresented people in Africa and beyond, he’s beginning to move the needle of change in small ways. This is particularly true of his work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) , where he covers the social impact of conflict minerals. These photos played a role in Intel’s decision to stop using minerals from conflict mines in the DRC.

Bleasdale approaches his subjects with compassion and an intimate knowledge of the outside forces that are causing their current situation. Without photographers like him, we might never see or understand fully the impact of our economic choices abroad.

Here’s a selection of Bleasdale’s Instagrams from Tanzania, CAR, Kenya, Congo, and Norway.

A portrait of Maasai leaders who are committed to ending Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage in their community. Simanjiro, Tanzania.

The mother of Eliam Fedangaré, 24, celebrates as he arrives home with his father, Jean Fedangaré. Father and son were abducted by Seleka fighters but managed to escape during an attack.

Farmers’ children on a rock near their farm near Eldoret, Kenya. A maize disease surfaced in 2012 and devastated many farmers’ fields.

Anita, 19, was forced to leave school and marry when she was 16-years-old. When Anita and her mother objected to the marriage, Anita’s father beat both of them, stating that he had already accepted dowry for the marriage. Moshi, Tanzania.

An abandoned home on the outskirts of Ango, northeastern Congo. The population fled following an attack by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

A video posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

A few weeks ago I filmed the ice breaking on this beach. Now spring is on the way and the wind and waves combine to create incredible patterns. Oslo, Norway.

Leaving home at 4.30am today. I popped in to say goodbye to my wife before jumping in the cab. Someone seems to have stolen my spot again. I don’t think I’ll be missed too much.

Follow Marcus Bleasdale on Twitter and Instagram.

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