I am always looking for instances of what we share around the world hidden within remote places or distant traditions. On the occasion of the start of the new year, I’ve chosen a few of my images that illustrate the globally-relatable aspects of my work.
“WARRIORS OF THE CHALBI” – DESERT SONG: COMPOSITIONS OF KENYA
Nothing may seem more different from our day-to-day activities than the tradition of warriorhood in Kenya. These men are physically and mentally prepared for challenges most of us have only ever read about. But if you look at this tradition from a macro level, and as the elders I met in Samburu territory told me, warriorhood is a rite of a passage that is simply part of the natural progression of time in these tribal communities. I have never been more in awe of a group of people’s relationship with the Earth; from their ability to divine water from the beds of dry rivers to the ornate jewelry worn, these are men who have earned the title of warrior through countless hours of work leading up to their initiation.
“WINTER’S COVER” – IN THE REALM OF LEGENDS
In this image, taken in a nearly impassable stretch of Icelandic territory in the dead of Winter, these horses shine. As if lined up in a precise formation practiced and perfected over time, they march through the snow like it isn’t feet deep, in total ignorance of the strong wind and cold temperatures that were taxing on me as I photographed them. Together, the horses have a bond – but they also share a pact with the land itself. It is only through their ability to get through the tough Icelandic winters together that they are able to succeed – and have succeeded – for thousands of years.
“UNTITLED 13” – OMO: EXPRESSIONS OF A PEOPLE
The mother and child is perhaps one of the oldest and most popular canonical images in history. Timeless and undeniably shared throughout all cultures, I am consistently driven to documenting this bond. In the Omo Valley, it was common to see women walking around with their babies at their hip, or secured within a wrap, always close to the body. What’s more, this Nyangatom woman still wears the traditional layers of beads which are rarely – if ever – removed and might even be as heavy as the child she effortlessly carries. Her baby is also wearing beaded jewelry, completing the cycle of passing down traditions from generation to generation, keeping this distinct culture alive.
“SOULMATES” – DISCOVERING THE HORSES OF SABLE ISLAND
I am both envious and humbled by the horses of Sable Island’s ability to live in the moment. Whenever I look at this image, I am immediately brought back to the feelings and emotion of time spent with loved ones without a care in the world. The bond shared between these two is evident in that they are physically in sync and seemingly oblivious to anything but the sensation and energy of that exact moment. There is also nothing more suitable as an illustration of freedom than wild horses – especially the ones that roam Sable Island.