I work for a non-profit , humanitarian organization that specializes in health care and poverty alleviation in East Africa. A large part of my job is to visit our projects each year and to document our work, bringing back photographs that tell the stories of the people we serve. When I am not working, I am exploring the towns and villages where we work and the places in between, attempting to create something personal along the way. This group of images is not intended to be a cohesive body of work. They are singles, without context, representing my personal relationship and perceptions of Africa – all of its strangeness and beauty and complex relationships among God, government, and colliding cultures. My love for this part of the world is equally complex. I’m a stranger in a strange land, and yet when there I somehow I feel more comfortable in my own skin–ironic, given that I’m glaringly aware that my skin is pale, vulnerable, and out of place. I feel a real freedom unlike the highly touted freedoms of home. And it doesn’t escape me that it’s likely because I am white, a visitor, and the rules there don’t apply to me in the same way. But I am respectful, even reverential, in all that I encounter. I know how precious these times are when I can be the minority, unable to blend, surrendering to the circumstances in which I enter.
More of Jeff’s work can be seen HERE.
Jeff’s previous contributions to aamora.
4 thoughts on “SINGLES – PHOTOGRAPHS FROM EAST AFRICA (part one) by Jeff James”
… And I find a great coherence between them. Your loving approach is the glue.
I bet that these personal photos, taken when you are off work and idly roaming are your best of your stay in that part of the world that you love so much. Congrats and a big hug!
Your words helps to understand your work. And your work helps to understand the other corner of the world. An excellent body of work. Congratulations.
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