25th May to 6th June 2002

Inhabitants and Reminiscence
By Bhairaj Maharjan
Binod Pradhan

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Photos
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News Articles
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19th to 22th June 2002

Three men's Perspective
By Kishor Kayastha
Nick Davidson
Navin Joshi

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News Articles
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2002

Sisters of Murci
By Robert Studzinski

Artist’s Statement

This is a photographic exploration of the body art of the wild tribes of Ethiopia’s lower Omo Valley. These are people that exist in a world of subsistence living, largely way beyond state control. It is also a tough world, still marked by dangerous wildlife, blood feuds with traditional enemies, and some serious demands of custom on the individual. In such an environment, the traditional, egalitarian community is your ultimate means of survival.

Virtually bereft of other forums, your very body is the canvas for artistic expression. The need to identify with your community is so crucial that even when custom dictates significant body sculpting, you conform. At the same time, the artistic impulse is rendered idiosyncratically--so it is art.

My job, amidst all of this, is to make portraits. Really good portraits take you into the person and maybe even a time and culture. You have to be aware of the effervescence of the moment and skillful enough to capture it. You know that you are in a struggle to freeze a split second of surface emotion without missing the depths. The pressure is on and this is it.

And with such subjects, this really could be it--not so much because you’re in danger but because they’re endangered. You realize that this all could change irrevocably--from war or famine or globalization. So here I am, bearing witness in the present, to cultural past for the future. That’s why this work is important.

News Article
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