Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Terri Gold | The Nomads of Niger

Photo © Terri Gold-All Rights Reserved
Infrared photography and off-the-beaten path nomadic people...this is exactly what photographer Terri Gold features in her new Nomads in Niger gallery.

She photographed the Wodaabe; nomadic cattle-herders and traders in the Sahel, who periodically migrate from southern Niger, through northern Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, southwestern Chad, and the western region of the Central African Republic. The number of Wodaabe is estimated to be 100,000 and are widely known for their beauty, elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies.

Terri tells me there has been no tourism in Niger for 6 years now, and her photography group numbered less than five. The Wodaabe festival she attended had no fixed date, so it was a matter of crossing fingers and being patient. Her group had to have 18 guards armed with Kalashnikovs and a 50 mm machine gun on each truck. 

The Guérewol festival is an annual courtship ritual competition among the Wodaabes, when young men dressed in elaborate ornamentation and made up in traditional face painting gather in lines to dance and sing, vying for the attentions of marriageable young women.

Terri Gold is an award-winning photographer and artist based in New York City, and has built an impressive reputation for her infrared imagery of rituals, rites of passage, festivals, celebrations and portraits from all over the world.

Her artistic creativity and energy were patently obvious during my Tribes of South Rajasthan & Kutch Photo~Expedition™which she had joined in January 2010, as she moved from one photo shoot in a village to the next photographing with her two cameras; one "normal" like those used by the rest of us, and the second professionally modified to shoot infrared.