Doug MacLellan

Nikrah Goredema died shortly after this photo was taken, and Doug MacLellan was not going to use this photo in any publication because the circumstances were so sad.
However, a woman in Ireland saw a proof and was so taken by the image that she asked to use it as part of a fundraising exhibition in Dublin. It appeared on a banner and in all the publicity material. The exhibition was a modest success in terms of attendees but a significant success in terms of awareness. Key to that was Nikrah’s story.
Nikrah asked Doug to take her picture, which he initially wasn’t going to do—she was lying, covered, on the floor of her parents’ home, and he had actually thought she was dead. After they finished the session, he asked her why she wanted to be photographed. “So people will know I existed,” she said.
Her comment stayed with Doug and led him to make three further trips to the Howard Hospital in central Zimbabwe. He’s been told that this and other resulting photographs have raised thousands of dollars and inspired scores of health care professionals to volunteer at the Howard.

Douglas MacLellan is based in Windsor, Canada. He has created substantial bodies of work on Africa, his family, street youth, hockey, and public protest. His work is almost always about people and daily life, often about those whose voices have been suppressed somehow, and frequently about people who are doing tremendous good for a community. He has over twenty five years of independent professional photography experience. MacLellan was official photographer for the World Run to End Hunger, Toronto International Film Festival, Hockey Hall of Fame, and University of Windsor. He concentrated on work in Africa, mainly Zimbabwe, from 1997 to 2010.
Lately he has focused on local subjects, something he finds particularly challenging after all the thrills and excitement of exotic travel and portraits of famous people.