Featured Follower: Meet Corinne Redfern, Freelance International Journalist

While we spend our days writing about important things like where to take your next city break and what meat to cook on the barbecue (both very important subjects), Corinne Redfern is huddled in an airport lounge writing up her account of weeks spent documenting the lives of women in need in Iraq or other stories across the globe.

We found her work while looking through our incredible community and couldn’t help but want to share a little bit of her story with you.

See a little more:

Instagram/Twitter account: @corinneredfern

Website: www.corinneelizabethredfern.com

Where in the world do you live? In airport departure lounges, it feels like! Technically I have an oversized storage unit in London – and I still get contact lenses delivered to a friend’s house in Old Street – but I’m not sure if that counts anymore. Instead, since the start of the year I’ve spent three and a half months living in Nepal, two months in Iraqi Kurdistan, and now I’m based in Bangladesh until at least the end of August.

What do you do? I’m a freelance international journalist – specialising in women’s rights and human interest stories in developing countries. It’s the best job in the world: One day I might be on board a floating family planning clinic in a waterlogged region of Benin, then a week later I could be shadowing an all-female team of landminers in northern Sri Lanka, before heading to report from a rural region of Nepal or a conflict zone in Kurdistan. Right now I’m researching sex work in South Asia, so I spend 12 or 13 hours a day in various brothels around Bangladesh. It’s often very intense, but it’s endlessly interesting and I really can’t imagine doing anything else.

corinne redfern interview

One place you’d tell people to visit in your city/town? I’m brand new to Dhaka so I haven’t picked up any local secrets yet, but in Kathmandu, everyone needs to visit Phat Khat cafe in Thamel for masala chai that comes served in tiny clay cups shaped like elephants. The cafe itself is tucked down an alleyway and up a narrow flight of stairs, so it’s pretty easily missed – but when you do get there, you can curl up on the cushions with a book and lose yourself for hours.

What do you khoollect (collect)? I try to buy a silver ring from the countries that mean the most to me – although I didn’t get the opportunity to pick one up in Iraq, and that’s still really bugging me.

What’s your favourite recipe? I’m generally domestically inept, but a couple of years ago I perfected Shakshuka, and now I essentially live off it wherever I am in the world.

What’s your favourite book? It feels impossible to only pick one, but if I have to choose, then probably The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To take a deep breath and just put yourself out there – because nobody else is going to do it for you. I worked with a male photographer earlier in the year, and he was so good at asking for things – more time, more work, more opportunities… He couldn’t understand why I was so scared of someone telling me ‘no’. I’m trying to channel that fearlessness a bit more at the moment.

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Header photo credit: Francesco Brembati