This is a series of images from the most recent Gerewol festival in the Sahel desert in Chad.
At this festival, an exciting beauty contest takes place where men from the Wodaabe tribe, a group of nomadic cattle herders, prettify themselves and dance for hours on end. They do so, hoping to be picked by Wodaabe women as a winner, and possibly a mate. It is no doubt a unique event and quite impressive to watch, but I was even more thrilled by the opportunity to get a glimpse into the daily lives of the beautiful Wodaabe women and children. It is clear that the nomadic herdsmen are in charge of the beloved cattle and the women are in charge of, well, everything else. Children help with all the chores and start doing so at a very young age.
About France Leclerc
France Leclerc, born in Québec, Canada, is an independent photographer who currently lives in Chicago. Her early career was in academia, but in 2005 she decided to make a change to pursue her true passion for documentary photography. But the curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated her academic research career did not vanish. France now uses photography as vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle her, and satisfy her passion for learning. Among her most prominent themes are culture, religion and poverty. Her images have now been shown in curated exhibitions and have won numerous awards, including an APA award in the photojournalism category and a PDN WorldinFocus award. [Official Website]