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!
17 May 2012: Somewhere in the Saône-et-Loire department, France (thanks Bro 😉 )
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.
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:
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].
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].
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].
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].
A Tight Spot [To the Victor – The Spoils!] by Flashman (with Fred Deakin, member of Lemon Jelly)
27 September 2011: Vendor in Abu Shouk IDP camp, North Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].
18 September 2011: Mahedin, 18 years old, butcher. Knowing how to slaughter and dismember goats and cows, he decided to try with camels and is now one of the two only butchers killing and preparing camel’s meat in the IDP camp he lives. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].
After almost three months shooting mostly meetings, resulting in a serious lack of inspiration and creativity, I’m back to the field with a very exciting project. It’s quite challenging, sometime frustrating when I can not get what I want, but it’s a real pleasure to shoot again and to try to present something different. Final result in a few short months.
20 September 2011: Ahmedhay Ahmed, 25 years old, farmer in North Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].
“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching tv. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop, they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often, getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come ones, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them so go out and start creating. Life is short. Life your dream and share your passion.”
11 September 2011: Mustafa Osman, 31, from Malam, North Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].
11 September 2011: Adam Ahmed Abdallah, 59, from barakallah, North Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].
10 years ago, I was in Singapore, trying to find out if the images on TV were real or a bad movie.
3 years ago, I was flying to Sudan, trying to find out if Darfur could be a new chapter in my life.
Today, I’m starting my last big photo project in Darfur, trying to find out what is coming next.