Photo Exhibition ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WHITE NILE
ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WHITE NILE
The tribes of South Sudan
Opening: 01.12.2022 r. (Friday), g. 19.00
Ośrodek Międzykulturowych Inicjatyw Twórczych Rozdroża
Galeria [ground floor] / Sala Rozdroża [1st floor]
The exhibition runs until 27 January 2022.
The exhibition is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.
Africa is the continent that is changing the fastest, and South Sudan emerged as the youngest country in the world after a fierce civil war just 11 years ago. It is not a country overrun with tourists, and few reach its remote areas, which remain unexplored. South Sudan is inhabited by numerous tribes, some of which live on the fringes of inter-tribal conflicts, while others are in the midst of them. Inter-tribal fighting over cattle herds and grazing areas is their daily bread.
The Sudan conflict has been ongoing for more than 50 years and has claimed at least two million lives. More than 4.5 million people have been displaced, and 600,000 refugees have fled the country. A milestone in one of the bloodiest wars in modern Africa was the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 9, 2005. The agreement ended the civil war between the north and south of the country, but it did not mean the end of conflict in Sudan. On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan joined the United Nations. However, the price for the emergence of the new state and the changes toward democratisation was very high. Many people were killed or displaced during the 21-year civil war that lasted until 2005. The Republic of South Sudan is a country with an area of more than 640,000 square kilometres and a population of more than 8 million people. The capital of Sudan is Juba. In Sudan, one in ten children die before their first year of life, and almost half of the population has no access to potable water. The situation in the country is very unstable, basic services are lacking, and natural disasters such as floods affect the people every year. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of South Sudan’s population is in need of aid. The conflict, displacement, and severe flooding that hit South Sudan in 2019 have led to difficulties in food production. The country continues to experience malnutrition and severe food insecurity. At the same time, South Sudan has great potential. With large oil reserves, vast agricultural lands, and the Nile River flowing through the centre of the country, the Republic of South Sudan could become a prosperous, self-sufficient state that can provide security and access to intangible services and jobs for its citizens. However, such processes require peace, a stable political and economic situation, and the full support of developed countries, which must support vulnerable communities. This responsibility must be spoken loud and clear, both in the context of a colonial history that is still vivid and difficult and in the context of current global policies that are still unequal and often hurtful to underdeveloped countries.
The exhibition shown here, featuring photographs by Krzysztof Werema from his recent expedition to South Sudan in January 2022, is the next stage of the long-term project “Vanishing Tribes.” In it, the author presents local communities from selected corners of Africa who live their lives in traditional ways. In the age of globalisation, the disappearance or marginalisation of traditional cultures and the changes taking place are a widespread phenomenon that basically cannot be stopped. What is possible, however, is the preservation of a world that is disappearing, in the frames of photographs. The title of the exhibition “On Both Sides of the White Nile” refers to the river that divides Sudan into two parts inhabited by completely different peoples, with completely different mentalities and sometimes with similar scars proudly adorning their skin.
Krzysztof Werema portrayed the inhabitants of the different regions to show how different (from ours) their existence is: they are “living endemics”. He visited the villages of Mundari, Toposa, Larim, Jiye and Lotuko and took hundreds of portraits and photos to invite them into his world of contemporary photography.
Krzysztof Werema – archaeologist by education, photographer by profession. He started his photographic journey in 2008 and since then he has won many awards at the national and international levels; he was awarded at International Photographer of the Year 2017, Px3 Paris 2015, 2017, and International Color Awards 2022, among others. He loves to work with studio lighting techniques. Many famous personalities from the world of film and music have stood in front of his lens. Krzysztof Werema has exhibited his photographs in Poland, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Hungary. Among the areas of interest from which he draws inspiration are surrealist art, symbolism, the human body and the study of African ethnicity. For many years, the artist has been working on a long-term project entitled “Vanishing Tribes”, the stages of which are completed by successive photographic exhibitions. In his pictures, he shows the everyday life of the African people in their natural environment, and realises a series of portraits. Through his photography, he preserves the memory of a population that lives in a traditional way, maintaining the habits and rhythms of life of their ancestors. He also tells the story of a difficult reality with harsh climatic conditions and the constant threat of tribal fighting and armed conflict. The exhibitions are accompanied by interesting stories and travelogues.
Wiśniowski / Fuji / Fulvica / Aqua Nero