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Sarah Elliott September 1, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ethiopia.
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“The Women of Omo Valley”, Ethiopia 2009

Sarah Elliott (b.1984, USA) is a graduate of Parson’s School of Design with a BFA in Photography. Her stories include post election violence in Kenya, renewed fighting in DRC and maternal health challenges in Ethiopia. Sarah has interned for James Nachtwey and assisted Stanley Greene. Her photographs have been published in The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Stern, Men’s Vogue, Monocle and others. She is a founding member of Razon Collective, an international group of visual storytellers pursuing stories independently. Sarah was chosen as a winner for the 2010 Magenta Flash Forward Competition of Emerging Photographers will be a participant for the 2010 World Press Joop Swart Masterclass which will take place in Amsterdam in October.

About the Photograph:

“The women in the photographs are from diverse ethnic groups including the Dorze, Konso, Mursi, Bume and Hamer tribes. Even with the presence of missionaries, and the growth of tourism in Ethiopia the tribes of the Omo Valley are generally isolated from the modern world and have continued according to their own unique culture, following their own customs and traditions. The Bume women wear a large number of bead strands in varying bright colors and unique designs, and the Hamer women utilize cowri shells in their jewelry and when they are married wear thick metal necklaces around their necks. As much as I was in awe of their unique decoration and adornment the women of the Omo Valley were equally as drawn what I was wearing…my zebra print Converse All-Stars, my black nail polish, and my reflective sunglasses. I couldn’t help but wonder if their interest in my ‘modern’ adornment was a metaphor for their future?”

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