There is an strong untold story among the ancient tribes who lives in Ethiopia. The story of the loss of traditional way of life due the process of deculturation, transculturation, and mainly because of progress.
This serie of portraits was taken among the tribes of Omo Valley, at Southern Ethiopia. These tribes are in the edge of their extinction…and we must think, urgently, about this.
The ethnocentric vision has been the basis of colonialism that is destroying the ancestral ways of life and is altering the vision of ancient societies. In the eyes of some people, these societies remain anchored, with their eyes closed, in a increasingly and untenable concept of past.
The action of opening or closing the eyes is independent of any judgment, but this work faced ourselves the need to take stance. Thus, I search the artistic metaphor that allows us to reach out to the “otherness”. And here the position is established through a picture, in essence free of the only causal relationship between the spectator and the model: the look.
Ethiopia is recognized as the birthplace of Mankind and I returned here to start a process of searching for a new vision among the most archaic tribes. Nowadays, they live in a thin line that separates they to the total change that involves globalization. Their unique isolation is mental. Only their minds remain anchored in another reality, neither better nor worse. Only different. A reality they face with their eyes closed. The underlying question is who of they are willing to open their eyes to our “present” Must they do it?
The traditional way of life holds African society on eyes closed reality. This “lack of vision” is necessary for the maintenance of the traditional structures too. Only the smaller children are unable to obey the order implied that in their different languages and dialects are asked to close their eyes. They are located in the periphery of the tradition and the manipulator control of society and culture. The action of closing the eyes does not cease to be framed within the space of the game, even when it involves avoiding the fierce surveillance of adults. These are, in some cases, the same innocent children who, for some Omo tribes, can be characterized as cursed, leading to the death at the hands of the elderly or their families to avoid the curse on the irrational basis of ilogical criteria. [Official Website]