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Homo Sacer - People Without a Place

My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

Uganda | Sunday, 17 October 2010 | 5 photos

The Twa peoples of Lake Bunyoni in Uganda/Rwanda, commonly referred to as pygmies, are the oldest known inhabitants of the Great Lakes Region. The Twa were made landless in the 1970s, evicted from their traditional home in the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda in Government efforts to protect the tourist-attracting mountain gorillas. Offered nowhere else to go, no compensation and discriminated against for their pygmy ancestry, the Twa were left to beg for an existence in search of their own place. Recently they have settled literally between two countries; the borders of Uganda and Rwanda intersecting their village. They are nationless, ostracised by both governments, and seek out an impoverished living on the slopes of these internationally renowned mountains. The area the Twa inhabit reflects their place in the world. Exiled and forgotten, the Twa are beginning to fight for a land of their own. Their famous songs and dances beckon global visitors to their village and the international spotlight is slowly illuminating their previously neglected space. This sends a defiant message to their governments to acknowledge their traditional culture. They are a people who are refusing to be unseen. I purchased my first camera over three years ago, inspired by those who could so accurately portray the good and bad that constituted their world. Being drawn to foreign cultures and far-flung lands, in 2009/2010 I embarked on my first solo adventure overseas to travel Africa. I am a University student and amateur photographer, self-taught from poring over endless textbooks. My greatest hope in entering this competition is to challenge myself to think harder about my photography. To be more deliberate in what I attempt to capture.

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