With tribal communities across Africa under threat like never before, documentary photographer and writer Paul Choy is on a mission to record the everyday lives, traditions and cultures of these ancestral tribes before they are lost forever. Armed with little more than a Fujifilm X100V, notebook and pen, he begins his journey in Ethiopia as he goes in search of the nomadic Bodi tribe of the Omo Valley.
The small town of Jinka in southern Ethiopia was once a simple market town. Today, it has become the gateway to the vast Omo Valley, home to tribal communities who live along the banks of the river from where the valley’s name is derived. In recent years, visits to these communities have become so popular with tourists that many of the region’s tribes have abandoned their traditional ways to pose for Instagram-ready photographs for the daily crowds instead. However, a few tribes remain, located in remote pockets of the valley, far from the gaze of the crowds, that maintain their ancestral heritage. It was in search of one of those tribes, the Bodi, that I arrived in Jinka.
My visit to Ethiopia was part of a broader project to document the vanishing tribes of Africa. Over the past few decades, factors such as globalisation, urbanisation and climate change have decimated tribal communities across the continent. Through my project, I hope to record some of the everyday lives, traditions and cultures of these ancestral tribes before they are lost forever. From the very start of my project, it was immediately apparent that there was only one choice of camera for such an ambitious project: the Fujifilm X100V.
by Paul Choy
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