June 19, 2012 | 10:38 a.m.
By Erik Gruber, Web Communication Specialist
Alex Potter ’11, who graduated from Bethel with a degree in nursing, has spent the past year pursuing her passion for photojournalism and advocacy. She traveled to Yemen in February 2012 and spent two months photographing the presidential election following the Yemeni Uprising. She also did a story on malnutrition, made connections with the local journalism community, and worked on her Arabic.
Now she wants to return to Yemen. She hopes to document the realities of life in the Middle Eastern country, which is plagued by Al Qaeda, a fragile new government, insurgencies, malnutrition, and an economy highly controlled by the drug trade. She plans to continue documenting the variety of social issues affecting the country and hopes she can help educate the western world about a nation that is often misunderstood. “Yemen is a beautiful country with people passionate about their land, their families, God, and each other. I was welcomed like family into many lives,” she says. “There are very few photojournalists working there and there’s little coverage that’s not related to Al Qaeda. But the Yemeni people are incredibly courageous and generous. I want to highlight our shared humanity.”
Potter credits her nursing background for her passion to help people in need. “It’s the advocacy part of nursing that stuck,” she says. Her nursing experience also helped her form valuable connections when she started her project documenting malnutrition.
Already exhibiting great talent and promise in her young career, Potter has been shortlisted for the Lucie Foundation Emerging Photographer Award, published through Reuters, JO Magazine, and Boreal Collective, and was chosen as a 2012 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Interested in partnering with Potter? Check out her Kickstarter project to learn more.