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The cosmos of Darfur

Zagawa, Berti, Fur, Rezeigat, Dinka … These are the names of some of a hundred tribes that live in Darfur. The reasons of the conflict in Darfur are commonly based in tribal disputes, due to the possession of natural resources. And these rivalries become so radical and fratricidal that some of them would clap the extermination of the opposite community. But at the same time, they are unable to identify the enemies by only the physical appearance. They can not even distinguish the clothes they wear and the food they cook. Sometimes, they have their doubts when trying to pick a different accent when speaking Arabic. To know for sure the tribe, they need to discover where they were born, their family background and the name of their leader.

The seven portraits above are from seven members of different tribes in East Darfur. Some of them are Arabs, other non-Arabs. Some live in a camp for displaced families and others are actually the owners of the land where the camps are built. Some belong to tribes that have been fighting each other for many years. If we look at them out of context, without names, without background, just showing their face and part of their customs, we can barely distinguish them from each other. We say they are all just people from Darfur.

On this basis, I start a photo project that expects to be long lasting. The aim is to portray random representatives of most of the tribes in Darfur, out of context, in order to show only the person, the individual in its purest form, without being able to judge them. It is a way to claim the human stupidity in armed conflicts and, in this case, in the Darfur war. Without being able to live peacefully in a land that is the size of France, either they can’t give convincing reasons to justify why Berti hate Zagawa or why Dinka have fought Rezeigat for so many years.

We are talking about the same differences between Tutsi and Hutu, between Bosnia and Serbia and between Sunnis and Shiites. None. There is only cultural differences that previous generations printed on their skin, like a ineffaceable tattoo. But just human blood runs in all of their veins.

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