Faces of the World
The Emotions of a Continent. A collection of daily life portraits gathered during my pass through the Sub Continent.
- Faces from across the Continent.
The number of elephant killings for ivory has risen dramatically throughout the African continent in recent months. I went out in search of answers as to why this is happening and what is being done to try and control this situation, visiting Kora National Park in Kenya
The primary reason for the escalation in elephant killings has been attributed to growing demand from the Far East for an illegal trade in ivory. China’s growing presence in Africa and its interest in the continent’s natural resources seems to also have incited a reprise of the devastating poaching culture of twenty years ago. A recent report found that the number of ivory items on sale in key centres in southern China has more than doubled since 2004, with most traded illegally. Armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Shabab and Darfur’s janjaweed, are said to be hunting down elephants and using the tusks to buy weapons. Corrupt crime groups are linking up with them to move the ivory around the world, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa to China, law enforcement officials say.
Kenya’s parks and national reserves are seeing the numbers of elephants decline at a rate more rapid than they have seen over the last three decades. Nomadic pastoralists are entering reserves and parks in search of grazing grounds for their livestock, yet some believe they are also informing poachers about elephant movements, safe in the knowledge that they cannot be arrested if they are present in the reserve without weapons. The biggest penalty these pastoralists could face is to be moved out of the park, however it is far too easy for them to return and settle again. Their presence is threatening the natural habitat of other animals too, as in defence pastoralists will often kill animals that they encounter in the parks.
The communities who live on these reserves also play an important role in determining elephant numbers. Elephants are sometimes considered a threat by these communities as land demarcation is unclear in some regions and elephants will leave their `safe´ havens to graze other areas, usually crops belonging to local farmers who have only recently started to grow after foreign aid started programs in these areas, causing for one more point of conflict between man and animal. Destroyed crops and the occasional but rare deaths of local villagers by elephants means that many communities do not wish to help stop the poaching that occurs. Thus elephants live in a state of constant fear and threat.
It is clear that the demand for ivory is higher than the actual number of elephants left. It is very important that the demand for their tusks drops; otherwise we will be in danger of losing Kenya’s elephants completely. It is widely acknowledged that the penalties on poachers are too small; offenders receive just a 9-month prison sentence for the killing of an elephant, and those found with ivory are merely fined and sent on their way. Governments, conservation trusts and individuals have to rally together in defence of elephants before anything can be done to stop ivory poaching once and for all.
This is however being addressed by some well-trained Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) anti-poaching squads, who operate in most of Kenya´s game reserves. These dedicated men and women patrol the grounds constantly, to ensure the safety and habitats of the elephants are upheld. It is very hard to monitor the movements of poachers and more often than not only the elephant carcasses are found. These days, expert poachers are heavily armed with AK 47´s, machetes, axes and even sometimes night vision goggles, with many said to be part of the Somali militant Al-Shabab group. KWS are weighing their options, but it seems like fencing Kora National Park is the only solution for the survival of the elephants and other animals left within it´s boundary.
The true reality is the desperate need for more resources to be put into conservation and for the matter of poaching to be taken very seriously before it is too late. Now is the time to act, together, once and for all. If elephant killings continue at this pace, we will soon witness the end of the wild elephant in Kenya and the African Continent.
The construction of the Gibe 3 dam in the river Omo of Ethiopia has begun to create a cause for conflict on both the people of the lower Omo and of Lake Turkana. The main damages so far have mainly been human; in a fight for the remaining resources. May they be grazing lands or Fishing waters.
However there are also clear signs of water levels decreasing and salination increments, making the water completely inept for human consumption. The decrease in water levels are affecting breeding grounds and subsequently the livlihoods of many who depend on these waters.
The Ethiopian Merile´s are having to cross the Kenyan border in order to full-fill their livelihoods due to the lack of resources in the lower Omo region as a consequence of land clearing and grabbing due to the new Dam construction. This has led to conflict on Kenyan soil.
This is a work-in progress project that I hope to follow up through out the construction of the dam to be able to witness the escalating environmental, social and political consequences it will bring upon both regions and their people.
Part 1 consists of a close follow-up of life in the day together with essential security measures the Turkana pastoralists and Fishermen have had to adopt in order to defend themselves from recurring attacks. As well as the newly deployed security enforcement the Government has put it place to try and control the disputes.Photography, Photojournalism2012
August 2012. Mombasa muslims Riot after the assassination of radical Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed who was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants was killed in Mombasa when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his vehicle sparking violent riots.Photography, Photojournalism2012
Oh the great Spectacle of Holi, an amazing display of joy and colour. I was lucky enough to go and document the festival in the re-known Holy city of Varanasi this year.
Holi is a festival that welcome´s the arrival of spring, with everyone flooding to the streets to celebrate together this beautiful moment of the year. It´s one of the only times a year when no matter what economical status you may belong to, everyone is together as one.
Here are some pictures of it´s magic.Photography, Photojournalism2012
The Shanzu Workshop have been doing some incredible work since it was established in 1992.
This all begun when Mrs. Damu P. Shah and other members of the Kenya Girl Guides Association saw the vital need to provide education and training to disabled girls. Since then it has been helping women with disabilities gain confidence and skills which will help them integrate themselves in the community.
I have been going to Shanzu for some years now, The work they do in fascinating and inspiring. When the girls first arrive they are scared, marginalized by society and strugling to find adequate jobs. However once they complete the 2 year course here at Shanzu not only do they leave with a Tailors qualification, but with an array of incredibly valuable skills such as basic business managment, computer skills, good farming practices and production amongst others.
This project is to highlight the amazing work done here at Shanzu over the last 20 years. The dedication of all funders, organizers, mentors and pupils is incredible. More people should be aware of this beautiful organization doing some great things, and making life just a bit easier for the ones that most need it.
Just a Thank you and keep up the fantastic work.Photography, Photojournalism2012
Most children from the Western world have it all. From games, to toys to the newest sporting equipment. This project focuses on those who have a lot less, but who meet adversity with creativity, ingenuity and most importantly, a smile. With as little as 2 sticks, a tennis ball, or a few marbles these kids are able to create games to keep them out of trouble and entertained.
Money doesn´t always determine the worth of a kid´s youth. This bunch of kid´s in Varanasi really demonstrate this.
Paint Bags: 20 rupees for 100grams of coloured powder. (25 pence)
Cricket Bat: 300 rupees. ( 3.70 pounds)
Tennis Ball: 40 rupees. (50 pence)
Kite: 3 rupees. (0.037 pence)
Reel: 40 rupees. (50 Pence)
Marbles: 1 rupee for 8. (0.012 pence)
Dancing and enjoying life: FreePhotography, Photojournalism2012
Sri Pada is one of the worlds most famous mountains, not due to its hight or difficulty in assent, but because of it´s multi religious significance. It holds a great spiritual and religious value for Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians who believe the foot print like indentation at its peak was left by Shiva, Buddha, Adam and St Thomas respectively.
This Mountain stands 7353ft above sea level and the climb through it´s kilometers of steps takes hours. This however doesn´t put off the thousands of pilgrims that reach its peak everyday.
Arriving at the summit before sunrise proves to be an incredibly awarding experience with the views of the sun peaking it´s way through the clouds below.Digital Photography, Photography, Photojournalism2011
Amazing things from far away lands. Shots from India and it´s hidden treasures.Photography, Photojournalism2011
A step at a time, we slowly discover each subject.Photography, Photojournalism2011