civil war in Sudan between the Muslim North and the tribal
South has been going on for more than 20 years. Like all wars,
the damage cuts deeply into the soul of the people. I spent
several weeks in Sudan, moving around the south, shooting
in and around hospitals belonging to Medecins Sans Frontieres
(Doctors without Borders), in refugee camps, and in villages.
Most of the people I photographed were from the Dinka tribe,
traditionally cattlemen and nomads, but for the past two generations
also rebel soldiers.
culture hasn’t penetrated South Sudan the way it's penetrated
the rest of Africa. Even in the towns, it’s rare to
see the familiar icons of global commerce, such as the ubiquitous
Coca-Cola logo. Education, medicine and technology operate
at 1960 levels, making the task of rebuilding harder than
in other war-torn countries. Peace talks come and go, but
the people of South Sudan have come to expect nothing.
is a village in the Bhar El Ghazal province, where I spent
2 weeks in July, 2002. Bhar El Ghazal suffered a terrible
famine in 1998, and is still experiencing drought and periodic
food emergencies. It is also near the railroad that carries
marauding militiamen from the north, who rape, pillage, and
burn their way through the villages, often kidnapping women
and children to take back to the north to be used as slaves.
is a refugee camp in the Eastern Equatoria province, which
has been operational for more than 10 years. Many of the children
I met and photographed there were born in the camp, and had
never known any other way of life.