Darfur

A book on my work in Darfur and particularly in Abu Shouk internally displaced persons camp is finally available on Blurb, in two different versions:

It’s a strange feeling to finally see the result of more than two months of hard work and to be aware that I can’t change or add anything now. It is also a bit frustrating to realize that I haven’t taken any decent picture since.

But now that I have a few months before starting my new job (more about that later), maybe it is a good opportunity to travel a bit and to work on a new project. But weirdly, for the first time since… ages, I don’t want to hit the road and would prefer to live for a few weeks at the same place. So if you know someone (association, organisation, school, private, etc…) who could be interested to use my skills (computer science, photography and public relation/communication) in South America (so than I can practice/improve my Spanish), let me know asap. Thanks!

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17 May 2012: Somewhere in the Saône-et-Loire department, France (thanks Bro 😉 )

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01 May 2012: Sitges, next to Barcelona, Spain.

Although I initially wanted to slightly improve the layout of my book before printing and publishing it, I finally decided to show my last big photo project in Darfur. This book was submitted as a final project for my MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

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Between September and November 2011, I spent a lot of time in Abu Shouk internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camp, in an attempt to show another reality in Darfur.

Despite the ongoing armed confrontations, many IDPs do not want to stay passive, just waiting to return home, relying on the largesse of the international community. Step by step, they have slowly and resolutely taken their lives into their own hands, learning new skills, using the resources at their disposal, building and hoping for a better future.

Fleeing from conflict and living in camps that were supposed to be temporary, they are trying to bring some semblance of stability into their lives, by existing between war and peace.

A book should be soon available on Blurb.

[EDIT:] My book is available on Blurb, in two different versions:

I didn’t mean to tell you… But…

Last sprint before the end of my Master’s. I should submit my critical report in one week and the finalize version of my book in two. Everything would be fine if I didn’t have to take a few last pictures and if I was not completely exhausted. Unfortunately, it is not going to improve, as I also will have to start my check-out. If only I could go to South East Asia right after, to empty my head and fill it with internal silence.

27 October 2011: Darfuri women learning about food processing in Abu Shouk Women Center. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

Dancing Behind My Eyelids

A close friend asked me today what would be the first thing I would do at my arrival in Switzerland. I didn’t really know what to answer. Nothing satisfying came to my mind.

Hug my family, take a bath, see my friends and celebrate with them, buy and read books, enjoy early breakfast in a cafe while reading the news, go skiing and then what? Then what?

Tonight, exhausted, in my inner world and trying to work on my final report, I suddenly realized that I now consider life in Switzerland as something exotic.

20 October 2011: Darfuris waiting for the arrival of a delegation of Special Envoys to Sudan. Mukjar, West Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

Life

From a 5 star hotel to a remote village in West Darfur, I spent the last three days following and covering the visit of UNAMID Joint Special Representative and Ambassadors, shooting from dawn to dusk (sometimes later).

I’m not exactly sure of how my life will be in a few months, but I’m sure that the excitation of taking photographs in Darfur, speaking with Darfuris, running with all my gear on my back to an APC or flying over majestic places in an helicopter is not going to disappear quickly. Life …

Now, I hope to get the final authorizations and to be able to finish my final project quickly.


20 October 2011: UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, reading and correcting documents, while flying from El Geneina to Mukjar, West Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

Everything will be fine

Due to some recent incidents, my big project is not progressing as much as I would like to. And although I was supposed to be in Switzerland, celebrating the wedding of a close friend, I’m stuck in Sudan. By chance, after one month in El Fasher, working on different photo assignments, I’ve been sent to Khartoum for two days. At least, it gives me some time and space for pampering in a nice hotel. Next stop… Switzerland. In 6 weeks… Inch’allah.


09 October 2011: A classroom in Abu Shouk IDP camp. Schoolboys and girls seat on the floor, on a thin carpet and can be up to 100 per class. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

iThoughts

Steve Jobs is dead. He was one of the most successful business man in the world, had amazing presentation skills (have a look at his keynotes, if you don’t believe me) and influenced the life of many with his computers, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

I understand that even people who didn’t know him personally can feel affected (like people did when Princess Diana died). But I am not sure to share the massive hysteria, tears, candles and other “iGod is dead”. I watched few months ago his speech at Stanford University and like it. It was inspiring but with his death, it took another dimension.

We are frequently told to study hard to have a good job. To work hard to have a good career. To find a spouse to have children with. And then what? We can die with the satisfaction of having children and money? Maybe Steve Jobs’s message is to focus on the satisfaction and pleasure of building, rather than on the pleasure of admiring what we built. Focusing on the journey rather than on the final destination.

Or maybe we want to believe he was a bright wise man, when he was just an amazing seller. Maybe …


September 2011: A cow about to be slaughtered in Abu Shouk IDP camp, North Darfur.[Click on the picture to enlarge it].