The show is made up of photographs taken over the course of a decades-long career, and includes images from my travels in Niger, Namibia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
“There is, indeed, a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame, and re-inventing the poetry of diversity is perhaps the most important challenge of our times.” Wade Davis
Now more than ever, it is important to celebrate the beauty of cultural diversity.
The Omo Valley: home to the Surma, Kara, Hamar, Dassanech, and Mursi Tribes. Here, these tribes live in complete symbiosis with nature.
Beautification and scarification practices, equally stunning and brutal, are encouraged as a way for an individual to establish their identity within the community.
Treading lightly on Earth, leading their beloved animal herds to precious water sources, the Wodaabe and Tuareg tribes stay true to their traditions.
When the rains are good, an extraordinary beauty contest takes place called the Gerewol, where it’s the men who are on display. The men perform a dance called the yaake.
The Gerewol celebrates the fertility the rains bring to the parched edge of the Sahara.
The adumu, or “jumping dance” is part of what defines the ancient tribes of modern Kenya, and is a recognizable ritual of Maasai and Samburu life. On this day the young men performed a version of it for us. The adumu is just one in a series of rituals that make up the Eunoto, a ceremony in which the junior warriors, or morani, graduate to the ranks of manhood.
Africa is a dreamscape. I have seen the snows on Kilimanjaro; I have stood amidst fifty elephants, fifteen feet away...
"And in the end, then, it really comes down to a choice: do we want to live in a monochromatic world of monotony or do we want to embrace a polychromatic world of diversity?" Margaret Mead
In Kenya are many animals that can only be found in this one place on the planet.
The San people do not live in their traditional way, though the memory of it is still strong and they act it out for the cameras with great emotion and conviction.
Their performance is moving, though there is a sadness about them too. Their grace and capacity for joy, for singing and dancing, the importance they place on their traditions in the form of songs and storytelling, to remind themselves of their history and to bind their communities together, show us that these things matter to us all.