So completely honored to be among the amazing women in @InStyleMagazine's #Badass 50. I'm not at all sure why Im here but inspiring to be among these women who show up, speak up and get things done. Thank you @laurabrown99 for making this world a brighter place every day. You use your place in the world for good and amplify the voices of people making a difference. You also remind us of the power of one individual to make change. Be sure to dig in and be inspired by these incredible women including friends like Stephanie Sinclair (@stephsinclairpix) and heroes like Dr. Jane Goodall (@janegoodallinst) and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I'm so proud of everyone at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary Community United for Elephants (@r.e.s.c.u.e) in northern Kenya including Dorothy, one of the women keepers at Reteti who has been featured in the #BadassWomenIssue. All the women here are working to break stereotypes and push the boundaries of women's traditional roles. #gratitude#hope#love & #light
Read the full Q&A I conducted with Dorothy for the issue by clicking on the link in my profile.
Faded photographs hang from wires inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial (@kigali_memorial) in Rwanda. They display the awkward poses of men and women of modest means who perhaps possessed only this one image of themselves, taken years before their murders. Children are pictured with a favorite sport, favorite drinks (“milk and tropical Fanta”), the name of a best friend. Then come the skulls, many with the marks of machetes. The Kigali Genocide Memorial describes the events leading to April 7, 1994, when extremists from the Hutu ethnic majority sought to exterminate an entire minority group, the Tutsi. During a hundred days, they killed an estimated 800,000 people, mostly Tutsi but including Hutu moderates too. Ordinary citizens targeted neighbors, even relatives (intermarriage was not uncommon). Hutu and Tutsi shared a language, a culture, and strong Christian belief in most cases. Even when Tutsi sought refuge in churches, they were massacred; certain priests and nuns took part. After three months, a rebel force led by Tutsi exiles ousted the regime, halted the genocide, and took power.
I photographed this moving story of hope and resilience for AFAR Magazine. It's on newsstands now in the July/August 2018 issue and explores Rwanda's efforts to renew and reestablish itself in the decades following the 1994 genocide or you can read online at bit.ly/AfarRwanda @afarmedia#rwanda#kigalirwanda#everydayafrica#kigali#traveldeeper#nikonusa#nikonlove#nikonnofilter#nikonambassador#photojournalism#amivitale@nikonusa@firstname.lastname@example.org#Synology#backup#NetworkAttachedStorage#NAS
Photo by @amivitale. Aloys Mutiribambe holds Laurent Mutaganda's hand. Mutiribambe was part of the mob who killed twenty of his relatives, including five of his children. He served nine years for murders he committed in Rwanda's 1994 genocide but today lives lives in Mbyo, one of a handful of the country's "reconciliation villages," where genocide victims and perpetrators live and work together, rebuilding their lives and trying to gain each other's trust again. Mutiribambe said, "They told us, every Hutu wherever he is, to pick up machetes and tools, and hunt for any Tutsi wherever he is, and kill him.” “Those Tutsi who survived? It’s not because of us. It’s God’s intervention. Because we were hunting them everywhere. We had an order that nobody was to survive.” I photographed this story for AFAR Magazine. The July/August 2018 issue explores Rwanda's efforts to renew and reestablish itself in the decades following the 1994 genocide. The government and people of Rwanda have worked hard rebuild in the years since, making concerted efforts to establish a tourism industry and protect the country's endangered primates, but the ghosts of the genocide remain. @afarmedia#rwanda#kigalirwanda#everydayafrica#nyamirambo#traveldeeper#nikonusa#nikonlove#nikonnofilter#nikonambassador#photojournalism#amivitale@nikonusa
Panda keepers clean enclosures and bring bamboo to giant pandas at Wolong Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province, China.
Because the pandas these keepers care for will be released back into the wild, the interaction with the keepers is very limited and they all must wear costumes which are scented so the pandas never get used to humans. The pandas must go through a series of tests over two years to be sure they are ready to live in the wild because after just one generation in captivity, they forget the skills they need to survive in the wild.
Photo by @amivitale. Sixteen year old panda, YeYe and her two-year-old female panda Hua Jiao explore their enclosure at the Wolong Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province, China November 6, 2015. YeYe's 2 year old cub was released at the Liziping National Nature Reserve on November 19, 2015. Hua Jiao is the fifth panda released into the wild over nine years.
Happy World Giraffe Day! Thanks to @davematthewsband@giraffe_conservation@sandiegozoo and @doconnor16 for all your work.
Scientists say the giraffe population continues to decrease, with a little over 95,000 individuals now left in their native habitats. That is a 40 percent drop over 20 years, sparking concern that if the trend continues, these iconic animals could become extinct in the wild within a generation. The decline is believed to be caused by habitat loss and fragmentation coupled with poaching, but because there have been no long-term conservation efforts, it is hard to know what is really happening and how best to inform communities, conservationists and decision-makers.
Here, Dave Matthews (@davematthewsband) takes a #selfie with “Shorty” the reticulated orphaned giraffe and I (@amivitale), oblivious, get a kiss from him instead at @sararacamp & Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e) who work to rehabilitate orphaned giraffe and release them back into the wild. You can support this incredible place and the people who protect wildlife. Make a $10 contribution in support of Reteti for a chance to win a trip to Kenya and another trip to see Dave Matthews in concert. (Link in profile.) Not only will you be helping care for orphaned baby giraffe and strengthening community ties, you’ll also have a chance to win a life-changing trip to see the sanctuary in person. The first $10,000 in funds raised will be generously matched by Elephant Gems (@elephantgems). Reteti operates in partnership with Conservation International (@conservationorg) who provide critical operational support and work to scale the Reteti community-centered model to create lasting impacts worldwide.
Photo by @davematthewsband.
Photo by @amivitale. 16 year old mother, Ye Ye explore her enclosure at the Wolong China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province, China. Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations. Ye Ye’s cub Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) is being trained for release into the wild.
In a region where bad environmental news is common, the giant panda might prove to be the exception and is a testament to the perseverance and efforts of Chinese scientists and conservationists. By breeding and releasing pandas, augmenting existing populations and protecting habitat, they are on their way to successfully saving their most famous ambassador and in the process putting the wild back into an icon.