Adriane Ohanesian – The Forgotten Mountains

In the Marra Mountains of Darfur, Sudan, hundreds of thousands of women and children hide in caves to escape ground attacks and aerial bombing by their own government’s forces. The bombing of civilians, the burning of villages, and the mass rape of women and girls is a daily occurrence.

Food and water are scarce and most people survive on tea and a few potatoes each day. Mothers often go without food in an attempt to keep their children from crying of hunger.

The mountains are now one of the only remaining places for people to hide and if the Sudanese troops break through the mountainous lines of defense, the ethnic cleansing campaign that started in 2003 may be brought to completion.

Horrifying accounts of human rights abuses in Darfur led to the indictment of Sudan’s President Bashir by the International Criminal Court with ten counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, yet he remains in power. The government continues to deny relief workers, the United Nations, and journalists from entering into the rebel-held territory. The war in Darfur has claimed half a million lives and displaced three million people. The international community has declared genocide in the region and yet even as the ethnic cleansing continues, it seems that no one is watching.


Born in New York, Adriane graduated from the International Center of Photography’s photojournalism and documentary photography program in 2010. Upon the completion of her degree, she moved to Sudan and has been photographing mainly in Africa ever since.

In 2012, Adriane began covering the news in South Sudan for Reuters. Adriane has covered fighting in Somalia, civil war in South Sudan, clashes in Burundi, and most recently the conflict in Darfur.

Adriane attended the Eddie Adams workshop in 2014, where she received an award from National Geographic. She has also been recognized as one of Magnum Photo’s top “30 under 30” and received Lens Culture’s Emerging Talent award for her personal work in rebel-controlled Kachin, Myanmar. In 2015, she was selected as one of Getty Images Emerging Photographers. Adriane currently works as a freelance photographer based out of Nairobi, Kenya.


Category: Photo Essay

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