The Human Matrix

Photographic Divergence

It is one of our greatest fears – that our daughter will be killed by an elephant on her way to school.

Many people in the west still view Kenya as a place filled with vast swaths of wilderness and herds of majestic animals. This does exist, but the truth is that much of the wilderness in Kenya and the rest of eastern Africa is in severe competition with people. Human-wildlife conflict is a reality. Wilderness tourism brings much needed foreign money into East Africa, but many of the people are mired in poverty and resentful of land that is set aside for wildlife.

In this work, I photographed people in Kenya holding up prints of my wildlife images also from Kenya. Many of these people are from the slums and have never seen the wildlife that they are displaying. The group of girls holding the elephant print are Masaai and live in an area where elephants regularly raid farms and homes in search of food and occasionally kill children on their way to school.

Here are blog posts I wrote while I was doing some donation photography for the World Wildlife Fund that have some stories about the conflict between humans and wildlife: “Your Elephants, Our Children” | “Your Elephants, continued” | “Moving Elephants