Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mario Gerth: East African Faces

Mario Gerth traveled to 65 countries on five continents and witnessed all kinds of civil upheavals. A German part-time banker and photojournalist, he has concentrated his recent work on Africa...and the slideshow above showcases Ethiopian tribes, some in color and others in stunning monochromes. I particularly like Chapter 3 of the slideshow which consists of gorgeous square format toned portraits...conversely, I thought the panning movement all through the slideshow was a little too much.

The tribes depicted in Gerth's photographs are sedentary pastoral people living in south west of Ethiopia, on the western bank of the Omo river. Unfortunately, the survival and way of life of the tribes of South Ethiopia are under threat by various projects planned for the area, especially a massive hydroelectric dam that affects the Lower Omo River.

In an earlier post, I had written various tribes of the Omo Valley are adept in soliciting money for images and how ready they were to pose without much guidance. But the question here is what came first...the tourists with their cameras giving out a handful of birrs or the demand for money from tourists for each snap.

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