Internally Displaced Person

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¬†Sa√īne-et-Loire department, France (thanks Bro ūüėČ )

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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].

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].

Step by Step

After a long long week waiting, I finally got the authorization needed to continue my projet. There is a lot of work ahead, but it’s a good step. May the coming days be as productive …


03 October 2011: Mohamed Ishad, 27 years old. He left his village in Jebel Marra and his studies of the Holy Coran to come to Abu Shouk IDP camp. He now has his own shop, where he sells shoes. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

New website

First of all, I finally spent some time to improve and rearrange my website. I now officially have my domain name olivierchassot.com and it should be a bit easier to follow my work. Moreover, although I like zenfolio, I started to be seriously annoyed to have their banner squatting my website. So hopefully everything should be fine now. If not, please let me know.

Then, Perpignan’side effects are still affecting me and I feel more motivated than ever to take photographs, push my limits and to hopefully capture something different to present for my Master’s. Once again, I miss a bookstore to spend some time looking for inspiration.


13 September 2011: Abu Shouk Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.[Click on the picture to enlarge it].

And finally, after a bit more than two weeks with my new Macbook Air 11 inches, I can confirm that it is a great laptop, especially for people frequently¬†traveling and who need a light, small but still powerful and¬†ergonomically usable computer (once you’ve started working with a Macbook Pro or a Magic mouse, it is impossible to return to a Netbook’s touchpad). Of course, a Macbook Pro 15 inches is way more confortable to write documents or process pictures. But you can not have everything and, compare to a MBA, a MBP becomes VERY bulky and heavy. So my MBA will spend some time in my bag while my MBP will enjoy a bit more my desk(s).

15 September 2011: Slaughterhouse, Abu Shouk Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

In a Geek World

Tonight, I’m buying music on iTune using my iPod touch connected to an anonymous network (TOR, a second-generation onion routing)¬†through a protected wifi connection¬†shared by my Macbook Pro and its 3G modem. Yeah… I am a bit geek sometime.

05 July 2011: Darfurian workers preparing cole bags in Zamzam internally displaced person (IDP) camp, North Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

Speaking about geek, I strongly recommend Dropbox and Chrome. If you have or work on more than one computer, Dropox will allow you to share your files¬†automatically . And as they are kept both online and locally, you won’t have problems working if you don’t have an internet access. Regarding Chrome, it provides the same functionalities than any browser like Safari, Firefox or IE but allow you to automatically¬†synchronized your bookmark, saved passwords and other auto-fill. Again, if you work with more than one computer… it’s really neat.