Updated: Mar 20, 2020
By www.romephotofuntours.com This photo was taken by my dear friend and photography mentor Marco Pieroni. The waters in the background are the ones of the marvelous Lake Turkana, and the arid rocks all around it are the ones of the fascinating Turkana region in Northern Kenya. Marco took this photo as we were leaving Loyangalani, the small village on the south tip of the lake, which like a wide and very long strip of water reaches the border with Ethiopia. We spent about a week there, traveling around, each one of us with his own photography project in mind and to implement. Mine gave life to an exhibition that, later on, I would have called “Life on Lake Turkana”. It showcased photos of people of different traditional tribes, the Turkana, the El Molo, etc. living peacefully on the shores of the lake, despite the extremely harsh climate conditions. The exhibition was one of the very first photo-journalism work to bring to the public attention the issue of the potential environmental disaster caused by the Gilgel Gibe III dam in Ethiopia. According to several studies, this dam will drastically reduce the flow of water from the Omo River to the salty lake Turkana, resulting in the dropping of its water level and by default drastically increasing its salinity, destroying the biological equilibrium amongst fish and plant species living in the lake. Needless to say that the effect of this environmental disaster will also be ruinous at social, economic and cultural levels: conflicts and forced migration are the likely scenarios that El Molo, Turkana and other people living in the area will have to face because of economic interests ignoring human costs and undermining cultural and environmental wealth and diversity. The exhibition "Life on Lake Turkana" was held in Nairobi at the Alliance Francaise center (introduced by the Cultural Director), at the United Nations (opened by the German Ambassador and by the UNDP Representative), and it was included in the 54th edition of the Biennale di Venezia in the pavilion dedicated to the Italian Artists in the world. Some of the photos of this gallery were also published by the prestigious New York Times Lens.