Traveling in the Omo Valley

“Some people say: “What does it matter if these cultures fade away.” The answer is simple. When asked the meaning of being human, all the diverse cultures of the world respond with 10,000 different voices. Distinct cultures represent unique visions of life itself, morally inspired and inherently right. And those different voices become part of the overall repertoire of humanity for coping with challenges confronting us in the future. As we drift toward a blandly amorphous, generic world, as cultures disappear and life becomes more uniform, we as a people and a species, and Earth itself, will be deeply impoverished.”
Wade Davis

In the Omo Valley, Ethiopia

In the Omo Valley, Ethiopia







6th Edition of the Pollux Awards – Culture And Daily life – Category Winner

Some good news news for me today. I was a category winner in the prestigious 6th Pollux Award – CULTURE AND DAILY LIFE with two of my new images from Ethiopia. SECOND PRIZE: “Suri Woman of the Omo Valley”, “Hamar Family in the Omo Valley” and I will be invited to Spain to exhibit at the 3rd International Biennial of Documentary and Fine Art Photography to be held in Malaga Spain at the Municipal Museum, opening on September 18th, 2014.
I was amazed by what I saw In the Omo Valley- the mixture of customs – beautiful and brutal in equal measure and am so happy to have the work recognized.

Suri Women Of The Omo

Suri Women Of The Omo

Hamar Family in the Omo

Hamar Family in the Omo

Into The Mists Of Time – In The Omo Valley

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Traveling through the mists of time to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia

just home – an adventure beyond words and worlds

so many tales to tell and photos

just beginning to work with them

 on the go every day

up at 5 am  to catch the beautiful dawn in the tribal villages

amazing skies every day

cascading clouds blue skies

afternoon thunder rumbling

short rain and then sometimes a rainbow

the people and customs and cultural diversity astounding

 mankind may have begun here

though this may be the endgame

the Turkish are clearing the forests and planting cotton fields

the Chinese government is building a massive dam project and the flood plain agriculture practiced here for all time

will soon end

we talk with the local guides

the people know  to varying degrees that their life will be changing very soon

they would prefer to be left alone and untill recently 

 lived on the barter system

but now they  pose for us 

and ask for money for each picture

we feel like human Atms

and they feel 

like they have reluctantly joined this game

I mean we show up at their homes and villages

(I wonder sometimes should we even be here)

and they might as well make what they can from it 

it sets up a strange dynamic 

that is hard to pierce

but if one takes the time

and spends some time in a village

and puts down their camera

and takes part in some of the rituals

It is possible to connect and hear each other

and say I want to tell your stories

I hope there is a way to move forward

for tribal life to progress

to have better health care and schools and clean water

new income streams and some  economic potential

with out obliterating  tribal traditions

and  I wonder what’s next…

I think of how many times in history this story has been played out by native populations

trying to save their way of life…