Life Style
Exploring lost Lands, dwindling tribes through Miller’s Camera lens
Publish Date: Jan 31, 2014
Exploring lost Lands, dwindling tribes through Miller’s Camera lens
One of Millers pieces
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

AKA Gallery opens a photo exhibition this month. The exhibition which officially opens tomorrow, Saturday 1st is a collection of several photographs by America photographer Thomas Miller.
 
The exhibition presents landscapes and portraits that many viewers would find interesting. The portraits show faces of people from one of the Horn of Africa’s disappearing communities: The Bumi, Galeb, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Surma tribes from Ethiopia’s lower Omo river valley are a community unlike most.
 
Miller focuses his powerful lens on the unique cultural identities of these people- from their sense of dress, to the various decorative ornaments on their faces, this photographer shares the unique ways of life of a community that most of us know very little about.
 
“None of these tribes has had contact with the world outside theirs for more than a few decades…All decorate, paint and scarify themselves for reasons of tribal identity, personal pride and as an aid in war…” Miller notes.
 
There is a daunting realism about Miller’s subjects, depicted through the simple, celebratory paintings on their bodies. There is also a cultural tone to his work.
 
As the viewer will realise, Miller’s subjects do not have much on them, except their thin drapery- (only some of them) and their massively painted bodies- some of his subjects appear naked- stark naked- in a sense speaking to the raw, nearly virgin life that has not been tampered with any foreign influences that have eroded the originality of many indigenous communities. And yet, by capturing these people in their natural settings, he draws our attention to their dwindling presence. And perhaps a need for the redemption of a once thriving community.
 
Some people will look at this work and judge it for the primitive ways and settings in which Miller’s subjects appear. But as an artist, he had more on his mind than propagating a stereotype.
 
Miller spent several years compiling these pictures. The detail in there shows an intriguing ability by the artist to capture his subjects at their most natural. This requires a lot of patience.
 
The terra Incognita series in his work provides a visual cocktail of colourful landscapes in various earthy colours. It shows vast masses of land, in interesting patterns and bold boundaries.
 
"Terra Incognita was how unexplored territory was labeled on the maps of European Explorers in the Middle Ages.  This unexplored territory was a topic of great mystery to them,” Miller says.
 
The ordinary viewer may read anything out of this. The easthetic value there is unmistakle and the utility of it all, if there need be any, will well depend on how much it all speaks to you. Miller’s exhibition will go on until the end of the month.
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
How to deal with exes in this city of too many eligible bachelors
Many of us find it hard to co-exist with our exes; those that we still moon over and those that would do the world a lot of good if they just stopped to exist....
Another memorable trip to  .  . . Fort Portal
The trip to Fort Portal always conjures mental images of a long menu of attractions like; scaling Mount Rwenzori, tea gardens, nature walks, primate stalking, culture shocks, hot springs and bird watching....
Exclusive interview: Desire Luzinda forever 25
I feel good. God can transform situations that are meant to be your worst into good ones. I didn''t know I would recover; I was so devastated at the time that I wanted to leave the country, but through prayer, things started to change. Over time, people started to believe that I was not the one who...
80% women do not shower daily — survey
Four out of five women admit they do not shower every day and a third say they can go for three days without bathing....
Penis size: researchers provide the long and short of it
The enduring question now has a scientific answer: 13.12 centimetres (5.16 inches) in length when erect, and 11.66 cm around, according to an analysis of more than 15,000 appendages around the world....
Slum girl to silver screen: Uganda
Phiona Mutesi happened upon chess as a famished nine-year-old foraging for food in the slums of Kampala....
Is KCCA doing enough to curb poor hygeine?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter