Searching for the Gerewol Festivals

“This is a great moment, when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering. The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly become part of the tangible world. It matters not how many ranges, rivers or parching dusty ways may lie between you; it is yours now for ever. ” Freya Stark

On the last leg of the journey home from my trip to photograph and experience the Nomad festivals in Niger.. I have been dreaming of seeing these festivals since I first discovered Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher’s books on Niger and other parts of Africa. I have been traveling with Leslie Clark, of the Nomad Foundation, who led the trip, Diane Marinos and Louise Porter, fellow photographers. We had a tough first week finding only one festival rehearsal, visited some nomadic camps and a rather modern Tuareg wedding with electric guitar and few camels. We persevered, mainly keeping our sense of humor, gathering  information wherever we could and found there would be two large festivals beginning in a few days. Then the wild adventures began and we stepped back in time. A biblical scene awaited us as we arrived at the first festival, a Wodaabe Worso. This is a gathering of families where the nomads celebrate their way of life, the end of a successful rainy season and the one time of year they can all get together. It means they bring their houses, herds and families, arriving on camels, burros and many on foot.  It was enormous—thousands of animals, maybe thousands of people-no real  way to count, our wonderful crew and our ever faithful security team which you cannot travel in Niger without and the 4 of us.

We slept under the stars, the music of the herds our lullaby and the milky way and full moon overhead. During the day we were warmly welcomed everywhere mainly because of the wonderful work Leslie and her foundation has been doing in this area since the 90’s and joined in the celebrations under the blazing hot  sun. Leslie is a true inspiration. She speaks the Wodaabe language, has lived in their tents  and traveled by camel with the nomads across the grasslandsand learned their customs and traditions. Then created her foundation and built schools and opened medical clinics and most importantly wells, and then creates  beautiful paintings of her experiences.

The whole experience was magical

more tales to follow…

The Gerewol

The Gerewol


Leaving for Niger

There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.” 

 J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit

Leaving for Niger on Tuesday…

 In the Sahel desert of Niger, the nomadic Wodaabe people spend months apart, searching out pastures for their herds. When the rains are good, the tribes celebrate with an extraordinary beauty contest called Gerewol… and it’s the men who are on parade. 

 Being nomads there is nothing fixed about the festivals – no specific dates, they occur in September and October,  different lineages join together for the pageantry.  Also, on my mind as we will be driving through the grasslands and desert, is there is no fixed location….

 Looking forward to a unique adventure whatever we find…nomad encampments, camels racing in the dunes , evening dances and hypnotic chants, then traveling into the Tenere Desert, which I have heard has an indescribable beauty and a silence so intense that one can imagine the sound of the star trails.

 Off the Grid

Over the Edge of the Wild

as Joseph Conrad once said…

Suddenly a puff of wind, a puff laden with the scents of Africa  – the first sigh of Africa on my face

I wonder what story will unfold…

Beautiful image of the Gerewol by Timothy AllenBBC Human Planet : Wodaabe Gerewol , Niger , Africa

Heritage Museum of Malaga in Malaga, Spain Shows Hamar Family In the Omo Valley


I am happy to show my photograph Hamar Family In the Omo Valley in the 3rd Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography in Malaga, Spain.

This exciting exhibition is Malaga’s largest international contemporary photography event. Held on September 18th, 2014, this edition of the Biennial will feature 164 artists from 25 countries at the modern Heritage Museum of Malaga.

This visual feast is the third edition of the Biennial, which first opened at the Circle of Fine Arts in Madrid in 2010, and then opened at the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires in 2012.


Table Of Silence Project 9/11

The Table of Silence Project 9/11 returned  today to Lincoln Center at the Josie Robertson Plaza around the fountain. This free public ceremony for peace commenced at 8:15 and concluded at 8:46 AM, the moment when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

This is the fourth presentation of The Table of Silence Project 9/11, a ritual for peace, conceived and choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi in collaboration with Italian visual artist, Rossella Vasta. A moving meditation, it is the the human embodiment of Vasta’s “Table of Silence” sculptural installation of 100 ceramic plates representing a symbolic banquet table uniting humanity.

“Moving to the ritualistic beat of the tympani, the minimal chant of the singers, the echoes the conch and the melody of the flute, the dancers ascend onto the Plaza forming patterns of concentric circles to create a peace labyrinth that culminates symbolically at 8:46 am and signifies eternity, purity and the continuous life cycle. This sacred landscape is filled with the transcendent energy of the Mandala, connecting dancers, musicians, and viewers to the healing rituals of the natural world.” said Marina Kennedy.

For all of us who were in NYC on 9/11/2001 and for people everywhere, that day is seared into our memory. I was so  glad to begin this day of remembrance, sharing and being part of this wonderful tribute.

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11  

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

Table Of Silence Project 9/11

2014 San Francisco International Photography Exhibition

Happy  to have won a Gold Medal Award in Gallery Photographica’s 2014 San Francisco International Photography Exhibition.

Gallery Photographica Gold Medal


View Online gallery of Images here


Please Come By !!

Meet the artists at the opening reception

 August 9, 2014, 6-9 pm

3265 17th St, San Francisco, California

Visit the exhibition

August 10-24, 2014
Thurs-Sun, 1-6 pm








IPA One Shot One World

I’m thrilled to have won five Honorable Mentions in International Photography Awards’ (IPA) One Shot: One World Competition.

About the award:

International Photography Awards competitions, receive nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe. IPA is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to honor master photographers, to discover new and emerging talent and to promote the appreciation of photography. Since 2003, IPA has had the privilege and opportunity to acknowledge and recognize contemporary photographer’s accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition.