By that time, there had been a few dramatic photo essays published in major magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, showing the deplorable conditions faced by refugees in South Sudan’s Nuba Mountains region.
Instead, Ms. Jensen went to the Blue Nile region, where the refugee crisis had barely been covered. She found 70,000 refugees there when she arrived and 30,000 descending upon the area the first week she was there. She spoke with her subjects as she photographed at the border and in a temporary roadside settlement near a livestock watering hole.
Halima Gisa looked back for her family, her face dusty and tear-streaked after walking about12 miles to a second temporary holding site after the first one ran out of water.Shannon Jensen Halima Gisa looked back for her family, her face dusty and tear-streaked after walking about12 miles to a second temporary holding site after the first one ran out of water.
“People told such horrific stories, their houses burned, leaving parents behind, walking with all they could carry for a month past dead bodies all along the road, and surviving on roots,” Ms. Jensen, 29, said.
She worked in a “standard documentary manner” and after three days felt she had good pictures. Because of what she had witnessed, and the stories she heard, she sent her pictures to photo editors at several major international publications. She figured she was on to a big story.