|Photo © Sam Barker-All Rights Reserved|
The Omo Valley has considerable resonance amongst us who've either been to the south of Ethiopia and those who want to go. It is 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 the hydro-electric dam under construction on the Omo river will destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of these tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.
Sam Barker began his career in photography about 15 years ago while attending the London School of Printing. His work appeared in The Telegraph, Landrover, and GQ Magazine, as well as in worldwide publishing houses and well known advertising agencies.
In between London and New York, working on commercial assignments, he continues to produce travel stories and personal projects round the globe. He is a regular contributor to the National Portrait Gallery where he has 12 portraits in the permanent collection, and has won the prestigious One Life International Photography prize.