Oxfam / Alejandro Chaskielberg: Mary Otabo and her family

Alejandro Chaskielberg’s night photos of a community recovering from drought but hit by rising food prices has a poetic honesty often missing from charity photos. The Sony World Photographer of the Year highlights Oxfam’s GROW campaign

Imagery for charity campaigns has traditionally been caught between a Rock and a Hard Place. The Rock being a lack of decent funds for a campaign which has lead to ‘shock’ imagery in search of publicity.  The Hard Place is the challenge of creating imagery that neither feeds stereotypes nor is so emotionally gutting it turns away potential givers because it makes them feel any contribution is pointless.Alejandro Chaskielberg, Sony’s 2011 World Photographer of the year, avoids both in his Photos exhibition for Oxfam opening today at Southbank’s OXO Gallery.

A fascinating editorial project showing life at night of a community in Turkana, Kenya, an area hit hard by drought in 2011. Pumping Water, fishing, keeping an eye on the camels, sleeping under the stars Chaskielberg’ photos show ordinary people trying to get on with their lives.

Oxfam / Alejandro Chaskielberg: The Dreaming Family

Using long exposures and strobe lights he is able to create surreal and magical images such as “The Dreaming Family”. An image made all the more powerful because we never think of those suffering as having dreams. Not only are those suffering deprived of food, water or shelter, they are deprived of their dreasm. Dreaming makes us human.

Poor weather and high food prices are effecting the community deeply, and Oxfam have been supporting the communities shot by Chaskielberg to create vegetable gardens from dry ground.

Oxfam / Alejandro Chaskielberg: “I dream about owning a business for my family.” Peter Lokonyi

Chaskielberg believes the communities in the Turkana community are resilient and refuse to accept the bad hand they have been dealt. “I know that, even though Turkana is one of the world’s poorest communities, its people are determined not to be beaten by poverty. This is why the work Oxfam is doing is so important – it’s giving people the tools they need to rise to challenges most of us will never have to face.”

Alejandro Chaskielberg’s Turkana Collection starts Wednesday 18 – Sunday 22 April from 11am-6am at Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH

Click for more on Oxfam’s GROW campaign

Thanks Dazed Digital


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