Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sarah Elliott: Women of Omo Valley

Photo © Sarah Elliott-All Rights Reserved

Sarah Elliott
interned for James Nachtwey and assisted Stanley Greene, and traveled extensively around the world pursuing social issues. Her work was opublished by The New York Times, The LA Times, IHT, The Guardian, Monocle, The Observer, Financial Times and the Red Cross and many more.

Sarah's galleries include images and essays from Rwanda, Kenya, Somali Pirates, New Orleans, Rajasthan, The Mormons, Tibet, Tonle Sap Lake and portraits of the Women of the Omo Valley. These are 26 frontal portraits of the tribal women, ranging from the Mursi to Karo. These are simple black & white portraits, quite different from the work of other photographers like Brent Stirton, who used strobes for his environmental portraits of the Omo tribes.

The Omo Valley has considerable resonance amongst those who've either been to the south of Ethiopia and those who want to go. It is currently believed that the area has been a crossroads for thousands of years as various cultures and ethnic groups migrated around the region, and it's been said that “If Africa was the mother of all humanity, then the Omo River was its main artery”. Having been there in 2004, I believe that.

The area is home to eight different tribes whose population is about 200,000 and it's been reported that a hydro-electric dam is under construction on the Omo river. When completed, it will destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of these tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.

(Via Photojournalism Links)