A Window on Africa

A Window on Africa

Ethiopian Portraits

  1. Hans Silvester
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  • ISBN 9780500515624
  • 29.00 x 19.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 144pp
  • 134 Illustrations, 134 in colour
  • First published 2011
‘Enthralling, beguiling, hilarious, shocking and profound all at once, this is as spectacular and personal a collection of images as you ever likely to come across. A wonderful book’ – Real Travel
‘A fine body of work that not only captures the multi-ethnic makeup of the village, but also the personality of each subject’ – Amateur Photographer
‘Silvester’s pictures leap with exuberance and colour…’ – The World of Interiors

Kibish, on the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan, is a village unlike any other. Far from any city and with an unforgiving climate, it has nonetheless become a place where traditional lifestyles meet the contemporary world.

This book is a beguiling portrait of the people of the Omo Valley, seen through an unusual lens - that of a simple window frame. From painted, marked and scarified tribesmen to tradesmen with their tools and farmers with their animals, this collection is a priceiess record of a unique and increasingly fragile way of life, one threatened by conflict, tourism and the rapidly encroaching twenty-first century.

'My little red window has become almost a mirror image of the startling changes taking place today in Africa, where so many conflicts have arisen from the coming together of different peoples, creating a chaotic jumble of humanity that obliges vastly different cultures and languages to bond together to form some kind of community.
    My window has captured a moment in time, nothing more, nothing less, and in its endless stream of faces we can see the diversity of humankind, its customs and its religions, in a place that the old world now has to share with the new, with strangers who are here to stay.
– Hans Silvester

Hans Silvester is a member of the Rapho photographic agency. His most recent reports took him to Rajasthan, where he photographed the people of the Thar desert and the incredible bestiary of Shekhawati wall paintings. Among his other books are Ethiopia: Peoples of the Omo Valley and Natural Fashion, both published by Thames & Hudson.