Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen is a 28-year old self-taught photographer. Osayimwen takes portraits of survivors of violence and terrorism in Nigeria. She then blends those photographs with another image that reminds her subjects of how the violence changed their lives.
Osayimwen got awarded a grant by Women Photograph to pursue the project titled, It’s All In My Head. The 28-year old tells NPR.org in an interview that she got the inspiration from a documentary which featured a young Syrian refugee who said he could not get images of violence he had seen out of his head.
The sole purpose of the work is to get in the head of her subjects, to understand them from within.
“What goes on in the heads of the… the people in my country?” Osayimwen wondered.
Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen explains that no one really talks with the victims about how they are coping; the things going on in their heads. These survivors continue to suffer emotional trauma from their experiences.
“Nobody really talks to them about how they are coping, what’s going on in their heads, the events and memories that have been stuck in their heads. They are still suffering emotionally. It really is not easy to move on, even if it was 20 years ago,” Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen says.
The photographer has interviewed people from Nigeria’s conflict prone areas. In the photographs below, her subjects are drawn from the north central, especially Plateau State. This state has a long history of socio-religious crisis, which has seen many displaced and killed over the years.
“I feel I owe these people a responsibility to tell their stories,” she says.
This article first appeared on NPR as A Nigerian Photographer’s Portraits Of Mind