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Nicola Lo Calzo July 5, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Niger 2008

Nicola Lo Calzo (b.1979, Italy) initially trained as a landscape architect and subsequently obtained a Master of Visual Arts at the University of Turin in his native city where he began his photographic career. Since 2005 Nicola lives and works in Paris. Portraiture and reportage with the focus on identity and socio-cultural considerations of his subjects are his major interests. He was nominated  for the Magnum Expression Award in 2009 and HSBC Photography Award the same year. Nicola is currently working on “Morgante”, a photographic project about “the minorities” in West Africa.”

About the Photograph:

“These photographs are part of a series called ‘Inside Niger, Portraits from Sahel’ commissioned by the Paris City Council and Conseil General de Val de Marne. They were shot in the Tillaberi and Dosso  region of Niger. The photographs compose an eclectic portrait of the Niger river universe where every person searches for identity through their work in one of the poorest countries of the world. In each of the portraits the subjects stressed the value and  identity derived from their work. I spent all my day in the fields talking with the farmers. Bachir was working on a vegetable garden along the river when I passed to visit him and his friends. It was 5 pm and the sun was setting. He brought me to see a part of his field when I noticed his back. His dignity and pride touched me deeply. The way he walked along the path. I shot at that moment.”

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Dima Gavrysh June 8, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Niger, 2007

Dima  Gavrysh (b.1978, Ukraine) began photographing in 1995. He worked in the United States in 2002 with the Courier – Journal in Louisville, KY and Deseret Morning News in Utah and returned to Europe to document the Orange Revolution in  Kiev. Upon returning to U.S. in January of 2005, Dima settled in New York City and started working with Gamma-Press USA and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop. He currently works for AP, The New York Times, and Bloomberg News. Dima has also worked on various humanitarian projects in Uganda, Senegal, and Niger with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and the United Nations Population Fund. His  work has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, Time, Paris Match, Marie Clair, Popular Photography.

About the Photograph:

“The woman in this photograph was lucky in many ways. In spite of developing and suffering from an obstetric fistula, her baby survived the birth, and she has been successfully treated. Obstetric fistula is a devastating birth-related condition that affects an estimated 50,000-100,000 women each year. Obstetric fistula is a condition that often develops during labor, when a woman cannot get proper medical help. If the obstruction is not interrupted in a timely manner, the prolonged pressure of the baby’s head against the mother’s pelvis cuts off the blood supply to the soft tissues surrounding her bladder, vagina, and rectum, leading to tissue necrosis and incontinence. Usually, the baby dies in the process as well. Incontinence and other health complications are associated with significant social stigma, often leading to the abandonment of the woman by her husband and family.”

Timothy Allen May 6, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Mating Ritual, Wodaabe Tribe, Niger

Timothy Allen (b.1971, England) graduated from Leeds University with a BSc in Zoology.  In the nineties, Timothy joined an aid convoy to Bosnia in order to shoot his first year reportage project. Six months later he  left college, moved to London and begun working for the Sunday Telegraph, later inspiring commissions from all the British broadsheet publications and finally, a six  year position at The Independent. Timothy’s photographs have appeared in many of the world’s prominent editorial publications and his work has been included in countless books and exhibitions. Amongst his commendations, he has received six Picture Editors’ Guild Awards including the title of Arts Photographer of the Year. Timothy also writes a weekly blog for the BBC  about indigenous societies around the world for the documentary Human Planet.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken on a recent trip to Niger shooting for ‘Human Planet’.  We were living with the nomadic Wodaabe Tribe in the desert near Lake Chad during a time when they gather for a festival known locally as the Gerewol.  The main purpose of this festival is to give the men and women of the tribe the chance to meet and have romantic liaisons over the six days of the gathering.  Unlike most of the world’s cultures, here it is up to the men to appeal to the women.  They do so by dressing up in these elaborate costumes and dancing in a line in front of the women for hours at a time.  The women spot the guys they fancy and then later on when the dance changes, they stand behind the men and stroke the back of the one they like signaling their intent.  The Wodaabe women favor tallness, white eyes and white teeth in their mates and consequently, during the dance the men roll their eyes and expose their teeth to emphasize these characteristics. We had to travel three days through the desert to arrive at this spot as a guest of a Wodaabe King.”

Philippe Dudouit September 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Touareg Rebels in Northern Niger, 2008

Philippe Dudouit (b.1977, Switzerland) graduated from the Vevey School of Photography in Switzerland in 2000. Since then, Dudouit received second place in the Swiss Press Photo in 2003 and in 2004. Dudouit’s images have also formed a part of several exhibitions including: Resfest Festival Swiss Selection (2005), the Hip-Hop Film Festival-Berlin (2005) and the Wordless Festival (2005). In 2004 he was the recipient of the KieferHablitzel Art Award and in 2005 he was invited to participate in the World Press Photo Master Class. He is represented by Contact Press Images.

About the Photograph:

“The MNJ, Nigerien Movement for Justice. is a Saharan rebel group founded in 2007. It’s a Tuareg group, based in Northern Niger. Their major claims are for greater economic development and a share of the region’s uranium profits. As you may remember from the buildup of the war in Iraq and the Wilson/Plame scandal that followed, Niger has uranium reserves. Between 2004 and 2007, the market price of uranium has multiplied by 10. In the case of Niger, it accounts for 72% of the country’s exports, and is mined in the areas where these rebels operate. The mining concessions belong to French Areva, and Chinese SinoU, which the rebels have attacked after claiming they were looting the mineral resources of the region. The Nigerien Government has labeled the MNJ a terrorist group, and has falsely linked it to Al Quaeda, while their links appear to be limited to other Tuareg armed groups in Mali and Chad, whose claims towards their respective central governments  are similar. The conflict with the Nigerien army, whom Human Rights Watch has accused of war crimes, threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands of civilians.”

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