Kenyan Stories

Everything from the humble woodlouse to specks of dust moving through a ray of sunlight. Each tells a story. ~ Fennel Hudson

With my camera, I try to bring the diversity of distant lands into our modern world, and share the stories I discover in my travels ; to create imagery that reminds us and generations to come how beautiful and diverse the world is. Our challenge now will be to keep the poetry of diversity alive…kenya_red_ambo-256 new sky Kenya_2015_red_-1903 Kenya_2015_red_-1907 Kenya_2015_red_-2120 Kenya_2015_red_-2172 kenya_red_ambo-234 kenya_red_ambo-236

In Kenya, the Maasai and Samburu warriors rite of passage used to be pretty standard: Spend three months in the forest, learn how to herd cows, kill a predator.

“Some years back, for you to become a chief, you had to kill a lion. But conservationists came in and stopped the killing,” explains Mtaine David Swakei, a Maasai leader.

Now dance is part of what defines the ancient tribes of modern Kenya, the “adumu”, or “jumping dance”.

It’s been captured in endless pictures and documentaries; 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, the ceremony in which the junior warriors, or morani, graduate to the ranks of manhood.

Life: A Journey Through Time at the Annenberg Space for Photography

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So happy to have my images from Niger, Ethiopia and Kenya  included in the slideshow presentation accompanying the exhibit  Life: A Journey Through Time.

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March 3, 2016   at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los AngelesCA

LIFE: A Journey Through Time is a photographic interpretation of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present by acclaimed National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting.

A new slideshow presentation of compelling images from photographers whose work complements the themes explored in LIFE: A Journey Through Time.
The photographers in the exhibit have greatly  inspired and influenced my own photography and I am incredibly honored to be a part of this show.

Creative Mapping Feature: Images from Around the Globe

Thrilled to have my work presented on Creative Mapping- the creative collective blog.

creative mapping Infrared Photographer Terri Gold

Award-winning, fine art photographer and creative nomad Terri Gold captures her beautiful, other worldly photographs of tribal and nomadic cultures and their rites using invisible light. This light which cannot be seen exists on the invisible part of the spectrum and is captured by infrared sensitive film to reveal a enchanting and poetic under-layer. At home in unfamiliar lands, the wanderlust fueled photographer lives a surreal existence where time and centuries coexist. As an outsider, Gold’s ability to tap into foreign worlds with such an intimacy whilst also emphasising the mystery encapsulated within their rituals and ceremonies is an impressive balance. And her talents are held in great esteem within the photography and creative worlds.

Traveling across oceans, deserts and deep into the bush with up to three cameras in tow along with an ever growing passion and wanderlust, Gold is seeking to shine light on the fragility of tribal cultures seemingly untouched by time; using a light that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

CM: Your work has been published in numerous digital and print outlets, what first garnered notice of your work?
I think the global response to my work speaks to the universal connection that all humans share. The loss of diverse cultures and species is becoming inextricably connected with the development of the modern world. The cultural diversity of our planet is where our greatest creativity lies. Though we may not see our own customs and traditions in these images, it is my hope that we recognize our common humanity. Our challenge now is to keep the poetry of diversity alive…

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feature shoot – Photographer gains Once-In-A-Lifetime Access ToThe Festival Of Niger’s Nomadic Tribes

Feature shoot

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So happy to have work presented on the Feature shoot blog today. Link to the full article here

http://www.featureshoot.com/2015/07/photographer-gains-once-in-a-lifetime-access-to-the-festival-of-nigers-nomadic-tribes/

When rainfall quenches the bone-dry terrain of Southern Niger, says New York-based travel photographer Terri Gold, a thousand Wodaabe nomads, along with thousands of their treasured animals, coverage across the desert in celebration of the The Guérewol Festival. As part of the weeklong event, the men dress in traditional finery, adorn their faces in paint, and perform for hours in hopes of winning the admiration of a set of young women judges. After braving the 110 degree heat in search of the merrymaking, Gold at last happened upon Guérewol after weeks of anticipation. 

Niger has hosted no tourism for the better part of the last decade, explains the photographer, who embarked on her journey with three additional women. Because of the political surroundings and the threat of al Qaeda members coming in from Libya, she was flanked by eighteen armed guards who bore automatic rifles in hands; the trucks in which she traveled were outfitted with fifty millimeter machine guns. Drawn initially to Niger by the work of fellow photographer Carol Beckwith, Gold was guided by The Nomad Foundation’s Leslie Clark, who took them from the city of Agadez, where the mud brick mosque of 1515 still stands, and into the desert.

Because the Wodaabe tribes are spread out across the land, Gold and her companions had no way of knowing precisely when they would convene for the annual festival. The Wodaabe are governed by the whims of the Sahel; they follow in the footsteps of their goats, camels, donkeys, sheep, and cattle in pursuit of the water sources that change continuously with the seasons. Life for the nomad is treacherous and each is exposed to the brutal elements, and yet for Gold, this is part of the beauty of the Wodaabe. Their philosophies are founded on both the bitterness of their struggle and the abounding rewards of their perseverance. The photographer repeats the Wodaabe adage, “Who cannot bear the smoke will never get to the fire”.

Only in the season of rain are they able to converge as a community, to find lovers, and to carry out age-old customs. Guérewol, suggests Gold, is a joyous sight, filled with laughter, singing, and dance. One the men have dressed up and performed for the women, winners are chosen based on strength, stamina, and beauty. They bear a cloth that covers the lower half of the body, embellished belts, and headdresses ornamented with feathers, all of which create the effect of great height. As the sun beats down upon them, they endure until at last the women advance and make their picks.

Though al Qaeda groups were to enter the area only days after Gold had departed, she admits that violence and unrest seemed far away during her time amongst the nomads; all fears were secured and hushed when she lay “camping under a tapestry of one hundred thousand stars accompanied by the lullabies of the animal herds.”

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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

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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.

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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

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. Vicki Baum

The Whew ! moment represents the relief, the resolution and the reprieve…

World Premiere Whew ! choreographed by Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

Whew ! Jennifer Muller

 

Explorer Wade Davis on Vanishing Cultures

There’s a tendency for those of us in the dominant Western culture to view traditional people—even when we’re sympathetic to their plight—as quaint and colorful, but reduced to the sidelines of history, while the real world, which of course is our world, continues moving forward. We see these societies as failed attempts at modernity, as if they’re destined to fade away by some natural law, as if they can’t cope with change. That’s simply not true. Change is the one constant in history. All societies in all times and in all places constantly adapt to new possibilities for life.”
Wade Davis

The Suri Tribe in the Omo Valley

The Suri Tribe in the Omo Valley

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