Those living near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya have been experiencing the brunt of the climate crisis. Already a dry, arid region, recurring droughts have left communities without water for animals, crops, and drinking, requiring people to leave their homes for more stable and fertile landscapes.
“Tribes could walk hundreds of kilometers in search for greener pastures and water in the scorching heat with scores of the livestock dying along the way,” says Migwa Nthiga, who recently photographed the Indigenous Nilotic people native to Turkana in his series, Walks of Life. “Often, we get international foreign photographers coming to tell these stories with their own biases and agenda that may not reflect the true nature of the tribes they have come to photograph,” he says, sharing that his first encounters with his subjects were random. “My team and I set out on an adventure with very little fixed expectations. We wanted to photograph any interesting stories we would stumble upon.”
Through intimate portraiture and candid shots, Nthiga documents the daily lives of fishermen as they plunge into the lake or of children at home with their families. Encompassing an array of emotions from joyful to intensely focused, the series shares a nuanced narrative about what it means to live in the region so profoundly impacted by the climate crisis.
Nthiga created Walks of Life with the help of photography assistant Joseph Theo, producer Nina Bola, and consulting creative director Jason Bruckner. He will show some of his photos from March 3 to 19 at The Nook in Nanyuki, where he lives, and is currently working on a climate-centric film about a Turkana fashion stylist. You can follow his latest project on Instagram and Behance.
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