In photos: “Turkana” by Jehad Nga.
A photographer of Libyan descent born in the United States and raised between Tripoli, Libya and London, England, Jehad Nga's lens has explored many stories and identities all over the African continent. From photographing a beauty contest in Botswana for HIV affected to women, night commuters in Ugandan, and the Liberian civil war, to illegal migration in to South Africa and documenting his own country, Libya, Nga's body of work is unique in that it contains projects that cover all regions of the African continent.
In this 2010 series titled ‘Turkana’, Nga’s photographs highlight the people of the Turkana region of Kenya - perhaps the area worst hit by drought in the country. Despite oil and water reserves in Turkana, the people reap few of the benefits as the government and large corporations take control of these resources.
According to Nga, the Turkana are ‘dwindling in numbers’ due to drought and subsequent neglect from them Kenyan government. Devastatingly, as a result of food and water shortages and with little to no aid reaching them, for some of the people photographed by Nga, these are the very last images of them. Shortly after photographing them, several of the individuals photographed passed away as a result of starvation caused by drought.
With the darkness filling up the negative space in the photographs, the significance of this sombre effect is to show the disappearing of a people. Nga’s aim, through these photographs, is to highlight the neglected plight of the people of the Turkana region and create a consciousness and awareness concerning their situation.
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