Archives for posts with tag: Sudan

STYLE (excerpt)
by Charles Bukowski

Style is the answer to everything
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous
To do a dull thing with style is preferable
to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what
I call art…

Photo: Hans Silvester, from his book Natural Fashion (see description from on the book’s Amazon page).


Tonight (or should I say this morning) I’ve been looking at images from Natural Fashion, a book of photographs by Hans Silvester — and can say without reservation that these are some of the most beautiful, surprising photographs I’ve ever seen.

Here is the description from the Amazon page: 

In this stunning collection of photographs, Hans Silvester celebrates the unique art of the Surma and Mursi tribes of the Omo Valleyon the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. These nomadic people have no architecture or crafts with which to express their innate artistic sense. Instead, they use their bodies as canvases, painting their skin with pigments made from powdered volcanic rock and adorning themselves with materials obtained from the world around them—such as flowers, leaves, grasses, shells and animal horns. The adolescents of the tribes are especially adept at this art, and Silvester’s superb photographs show many youths who, imbued with an exquisite sense of color and form, have painted their beautiful bodies with colorful dots, stripes and circles, and encased themselves in elaborate arrangements of vegetation and found objects. This art is endlessly inventive, magical and, above all, fun. In his brief text, Sylvester worries that as civilization encroaches on this largely unexplored region, these people will lose their delightful tradition. 160 color photographs.



“Quivering, I made my way through the crowds that stood in the shade like palm trees leaning over a riverbank in the morning. They were standing all in a row, as if they were waiting for God’s mercy to bring a ram down from heaven for them. But that didn’t happen. Walking through the village in my flowing white robe, I looked like the mast of a ship whose sails are caught in a gust of wind. Wad al-Kababish: of the twenty-seven villages in the area, this was the last that remained. The mere mention of its name aroused sorrow. The elders said that this village was once an oasis that stretched to the horizon, a vast green disc against the yellow of the desert, and that it supplied rams and goats and camels to the north, east, and west. They said that no other village raised such large numbers of animals, and none had broader pastures, for none of them had any lakes that were as big or had such sweet water as the one that had been here. Sometimes the treacherous currents in its deep basin would cause it to overflow in rage, wreaking havoc on the surroundings, but that lake provided every living creature grazing in that vast valley with ample water the whole year round.” From The Palm House by TAREK ELTAYEB