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John Kenny

At the edge of the Jade Sea

Country  –   Kenya
Culture   –   Turkana
Year        –    2009

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Lake Turkana, or the ‘Jade Sea’ is a vast body of water in Kenya’s far north. It is surrounded by a barren landscape of red and black volcanic rocks, where rain falls for little more than a week a year. Growing crops is all but impossible. In early April it is desperately hot and humid, the only slight relief coming from fierce hot winds that blow off the lake. When these stop the climate is debilitating.
This young girl belongs to the largest local group – the Turkana. The life of the Turkana is hard. The lack of rain forces the young warriors of the community to travel far from home in search of pasture to sustain their cattle and goats. Only when the rains arrive will they return. The rains thus signal a period of celebration, including the all night dancing and singing that young Turkana girls so enjoy.

John Kenny’s work is all shot on location in some of the remotest corners of Africa. His subjects are lit with natural light and wear 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.

Lakuru
Waiting for the rains in Wamba

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