THE AKAN FISHERMEN
THE GOLD COAST, GHANA Note about this series: The Akan Fishermen have been fishing the shores of West Africa over hundreds of generations. I met six Akan fishermen along the shores of the Gold Coast in 2009. After talking a while, they began to express concern over the declining fisheries. They fish by night from handmade canoes using only lines and small nets. I asked the men if I could photograph them and they agreed. I urged them to express their love for the sea by using the fish they capture as metaphor in the way they hold them. They chose the fish and made their own poses understanding that their body language and expressions would tell their story. I photographed the same men in 2010 and again in 2011. This last March of 2011, they were much more comfortable with the camera and their deep connection to the sea and to themselves is fully evident.
Anima and Animus anima: Latin: life, a living being, living; breath; soul; mindThe Efe are one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes on earth and live in the heart of deep Africa at its center, just below the equator. Their Eden is the fabled Ituri Rain Forest located in the Congo Basin about a thousand miles from either coast. The Efe introduced me first hand to their animist beliefs during my stay with them in 1988 and 1989. I was immediately fascinated by what I learned: that nature could be viewed not only as alive but as an integrated bio-system connecting everything that breathed to everything else in the environment. The Efe didn’t think of themselves as separate or a part from Nature, they were Nature, along with the trees, flutter of butterfly, creatures, winds, rain—soil: everything that is in the …
THE TURKANA, KENYA Note: After my first field trip to Africa in 1986/87, I decided to focus on one specific tribe. Each subsequent body of work from this point forward, focuses on just one people from a specific area. Once I was finished with the shoot, I scouted out the following year's location.
Ai-Yo-Pan and EchoGoro on the left were best friends and really enjoyed being photographed.