Escaping from the land of the dead.

Drought. Devastation. Death. Three things Ali, Fatuma and Bupa managed to escape from. But for how long?

Ali and Fatuma were forced to leave North-East Kenya for the South. Droughts had killed all their livestock. Bupa the elephant found refuge in Kenya after avoiding mass culling in Zimbabwe and habitat destruction.

© Nick Brandt in The Guardian.

The lines on Ali and Fatuma’s faces, and the wound on Bupa’s right tusk, tell the stories of survivors. It seems that they all managed to come out of dark times, to walk past the fog, scared, but in one piece, tired like Ali, but standing straight and proud like Fatuma. However they still sit in the dirt, in an empty land that is not theirs. The number of refugees like Ali, Fatuma and Bupa will not cease to increase. With each coming year, floods, droughts and fires that are direct consequences of global warming will push more and more people and animals further away from their homes. And there will be millions more haunted bodies and souls like Ali’s, Fatuma’s and Bupa’s. In this picture, the fog is looming at a distance. But it is already in Bupa’s legs. The three pairs of eyes, carrying their hardships and pain, look straight through the camera. It is as if they were trying to warn us that the danger does not belong to a distant future, but to a sinister present. It already hit them hard. It might hit you as well sooner than you know.

AC Lemarchand.

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