I find that most photographers fall into one of two categories: those that carry their camera around everywhere they go, and those whose camera is packed safely away in the cupboard when not on assignment. I generally fall into the category of the latter. When I’m on assignment I’m in the zone. Creating interesting photographs of everyday subject matter consumes a great deal of energy, so most of the time I use it sparingly. Most of the time, that is. Time spent with good friends in one of my favorite corners on the planet, the Soroti area of Uganda, calls for an impromptu breakout of the camera. My friends Boas and Annet make for most of the subject matter herein, save for John Simon Okiror, below, who died a few days after this photo was taken.Read More
Post Tagged with: "soroti"
The Teso tribe of East Africa numbers about 3.5 million people, most of whom live in NE Uganda. After Kampala, Tesoland was the first place I visited in the country. Nearly three years later I still hold it in my heart as one of the most special places in the world. Centuries old traditions remain firmly engrained in the culture here. While that’s not unique among tribes in Africa, rarely are they so welcoming to outsiders as the Teso. Take, for instance, their nearby cousins, Kenya’s Turkana. During colonial times even Great Britain dared not enter their tribal lands. The colonial power shut off the Turkana Region and required a special pass of any outsider wishing to visit. Above, villagers enjoy beer and peanuts at the local bar. The local brew, shared from a communal clay pot, is concocted from millet and sucked through long straws made from reeds. In[…]Read More
Election day in Uganda passed peacefully for the most part, with only a few scattered incidents of reported violence. This does not come as a surprise, however. The announcement of the presidential winner, due no later than Sunday evening, is what will draw the most reaction from the streets. Peaceful does not mean that the vote was without irregularities, however. As opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye stated in a press conference today, “it is already very clear that there have been widespread malpractices in the electoral process.” I witnessed not only voters providing names that clearly did not match the picture provided on the voting register, but also the coaching of voters in the polling queue by party officials or their hired hands. Below, poll workers and local officials in the town of Mbale argue over apparent typographical errors on the register. One colleague of mine reported and photographed the[…]Read More
Two weeks ago, Grace seemed like any other nine year old girl in northeastern Uganda’s Amuria District. She was attending school and helping her mother around the house. Suddenly she was unable to hold down food. The medicine her mother bought at the local clinic was of no help. Now Grace hasn’t eaten in over two weeks and weighs just 13 kilos (28 pounds). Sores on her lips and mouth make any ingestion of food far too painful to bear. Grace’s mother, Sarah Kembi (27), found out that her daughter was HIV positive only two years ago. Since that time Grace has been taking Septrin, a stabilizer drug that, while not an ARV, still reduces the chances of opportunistic infections. Sarah’s husband, Grace’s father, succumbed to AIDS around the same time Mrs. Kembi figured she had better get her daughter tested. Though Grace was likely healthy enough to forgo ARV[…]Read More
One of these days I am going to have to get a car, but I’ll hold out for as long as I can. I came to East Africa in part seeking a simpler lifestyle. I enjoy chatting with people around me and getting to know the culture in-depth. I watch in fascination as the preachers and hawkers board at one town, shout and sell to their captive audience and disembark at the next. Getting across the country is cheap and my clients appreciate the transit fees on the final invoice. But bumping around on buses is starting to wear on me. Above, a busy Kampala street as seen from the window of the Teso Coach to Soroti. The last month has seen me traveling from the shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania to the remote and mountainous Uganda-Sudan border and various places in between, much of the way spent with[…]Read More