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John Kenny

Assile II – face on

Country  –   Ethiopia
Culture   –   Hamer
Year        –    2009

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Assile was photographed at a weekly market in Key Afar in the Omo valley. Key Afar is on a hillside near the mountains, and attracts hundreds of Hamer, Banna and Tsemai in an immensely colourful gathering of people.

The market is divided between livestock with men trading goats and cattle and a separate section with women selling grain, nuts, containers, head stools… almost anything that can be produced rurally.

This female upper section of the market is thick with Hamer and Banna women, the noise is powerful, and the constant movement disorienting. Faces emerge and quickly disappear. It can be hard to track people, particularly Hamer girls, as they all have a common ochre hairstyle. A girl of great beauty filed past, and I knew immediately that I needed to change direction and find her.

John Kenny’s work is all shot on location in some of the remotest corners of Africa. His images are all taken with natural light and in their day to day attire.

The C-type prints are mounted with an acrylic face mount giving them a 3-dimensional appearance and a contemporary look.

Overseeing Merille

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