Chad, 2017. Refugees from the Central African Republic fetching water at a newly installed water pump.
Earlier this year I travelled through Chad with a missionary from the Lutheran Brotherhood. Part of their activities in Chad is to facilitate installation of water pumps in remote areas. Working closely with the community, they support and partially finance the installation of water pumps. In areas where the next water hole is a long walk away and will often provide unhealthy water, this makes a big difference to the communities. The water from the pumps has drinking water quality. In the southern part of the country the pump project also works with refugees from the Central African Republic.
Having had the opportunity to learn more about the people and the subject, I am now interested to continue working in collaboration with similar projects in Africa.
Lake Tana area, Ethiopia, 2017. Women working in a reforestation project.
Beginning of the year I travelled back to Ethiopia, this time to work again for NABU, the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union. Travelling around the Lake Tana area with the local NABU staff, I documented the many aspects of their reforestation projects which are a collaboration between NABU, the local government and the local population.
My photo Urban Farming won the Public's Choice Award at Photofusion's Salon/16.
Bustamante, Costa Rica, 2017. Harvesting beans.
Over Christmas and New Year's I visited Costa Rica to look into traditional subsistence farming. Some say that in Costa Rica "children are born with bread under their arms". This saying makes reference to the tradition of family farming which allowed families to live rather self-sufficient in the past. Today there are only few families still living in the old ways while the country is becoming more urbanised and people buy their food supplies in the super markets. In Bustamante some still eat the beans they plant and harvest on their own land.
My next exhibition is in Brixton.
This time my work will be showing at Photofusion where I am taking part in Salon/16.
From Friday 9 December – 28 January 2017 my work will be showing in Salon/16
Opening hours: 10am-6pm Mon-Sat
Address: 17A Electric Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LA
At Salon/16 you have the chance to have a glimpse at my latest project about modern China.
Launch Party: next Thursday, 8 December from 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Long Xing, China, 2016. Family lunch.
This was my third visit to China, a country I am becoming increasingly fascinated with. Exploring the question Who is China? I visited the cities of Nanjing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing and surroundings over the last three years. The project is still in the making, so watch this space.
Gidole, Ethiopia, 2016. Derashe woman.
Back in London after spending three weeks in Ethiopia where I worked with EthioGuzo and the Cultural Office on a research about the local Derashe culture in and around Gidole town. The Derashe are one of the many different indigenous nations that make up the people of Ethiopia. The Derashe consist of nine clans. Each Clan is organised by their chiefs who report to the Head of Clan. The men always carry the name of the clan while the women marry into their husbands clan. Members of the same clan are not allowed to marry.
This month I am going back to Ethiopia to work with EthioGuzo in and around Gidole. Visiting the area for the first time my task is to document the local traditions and life-style working closely with the local population. On my way through Addis Ababa I plan to visit the Meskal Festival, a long standing tradition in the country.
From end of August I will be attending the International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France. VISA pour l'image has been running since 1989 and is one of the few international photography festivals specialising on photo journalism.
If you are in the area and would like to meet up, please get in touch.
My next exhibition will be in Greenwich
From 8 to 21 of August a selection of my work will be shown as part of the 9th Greenwich Annuale.
Venue: Greenwich Gallery
Opening times: Mon–Fri 9am–5.30pm; Sat and Sun 1–5pm
Address: Linear House, Peyton Place, Greenwich, London SE10 8RS
Private View: Thursday 11 Aug from 6.30 – 8.30pm
I hope to see you there!
London, 2016. Cranbrook Estate, East End.
Continuing to photograph the urban environment and close to home, earlier in the year I spend a weekend in London's East End working closely with Laura Nobel and Robert Clayton exploring the Cranbrook Estate, studying its dream to create affordable housing for all, and meeting some of its occupants, who told me about the English working class reality and their history.
The Cranbrook Estate is a housing estate designed by Francis Skinner, Douglas Bailey and Berthold Lubetkin and was first opened in 1963.
London, 2016. Ella Mesma Company
Working in the urban environment and close to home, this Spring I was invited back to work with Element Arts. Covering the event Roots of Rumba at the RichMix in East London, I spend two days with the performers of the Ella Mesma Company and their many guests. The event was funded by the Arts Council and show-cased ten different dance performances with participants from around the world, including Tierra Morena from Sweden, Myriam Cadri from the USA and Luanda Pau from Cuba.
Ethiopia, Kaffa, 2015. Boys bathing in hot spring.
While working for NABU in the Kaffa region I visited the hot spring off the beaten track near Bonga. The hot spring is very popular with the local population who believe it has healing powers. Depending on the individual case, people may visit for a day or stay for up to two weeks. The boys were enjoying a more shallow part of the river, where the water is hotter.
If you would like to see more photos of this set, please click here.
Ethiopia, Kaffa, 2015. Menja woman producing an injira plate.
While working for NABU in the Kaffa region I met women from the Menja (also known as Manja) minority. The Menja are a minority who still follow their old tradition and life-style and depend on the local forests for their livelihood. As their culture is different from that of the Kafecho majority, they continue to be marginalized and discriminated against.
When I visited some Menja families near Bonga, the women had gone into the forest to pick clay so they could produce injira plates which they would sell on the nearby market. Injira is Ethiopia's main food, a sour flatbread used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews.
If you would like to see more photos of this set, please click here.
Ethiopia, Kaffa, 2015. Woman picking wild coffee.
Working for NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) in Ethiopia last year, the assignment was to document the local communities who live with and off the local cloud forest in Kaffa, a region in the Southwest of the country.
The region is best known for its wild coffee forests and is believed to be the birthplace of coffee. In one of the coffee forests is an old coffee tree, said to be the Mother of Coffee. And while the forest is protected and kept alive, the coffee bushes grow wildly in the extensive forest and the local population enter the forest in small groups to harvest the coffee as needed for home consumption or to sell at the closest local market.
My journey to study the coffee harvest had started at the beginning of the year in Costa Rica and now, towards the end of the year, I found myself across the ocean, in a very different reality, looking at the same subject from a very different angle.
If you would like to see more photos about Ethiopia's Wild Coffee, please click here.
If you like to learn more about the Coffee Harvest in Costa Rica, please click here.
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