I am an Israeli photographer and my work focuses on African tribes, which are facing danger of extinction as traditional societies.
In my main project, spanning ten years and 15 journeys to Namibia, I have photographed, from a very personal point of view, the people of a Himba village, located in a remote and isolated region of the country. The tribes' people are one of the few people in Africa still zealously keeping their ancient traditions alive.
My camera was never used as a tool of anthropological or research-like documentation of the tribes' way of life, but always as an instrument with which I could express my love for its wonderful people, and my admiration of their inner and physical beauty. They had opened their hearts and huts to me and with time, as we shared deeper and intimate relations, they became my second family.
A photo exhibition of my work, named "Himba Moments" was displayed in Tel - Aviv, and accomplished success and extensive media coverage. It seemed to me, that the common denominator for most people reactions, was some sort of yearning for that ancient way of life portrayed by the photos, and most of all, a longing for the ability to form intimate relationships with people who seem so distant from us, and yet, eventually, resemble us in so many ways.
A documentary film by the name "Cry Of The Owl" which I created and produced, together with Erez Laufer, a known Israeli documentary film maker, won the Special Juries Award at Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival in Paris (March 2006). This film achieved a rare, intimate look into the day-to-day lives of three generations of strong Himba women sharing their desires and fears.
The Himba, as people, face very trying and critical times. Roads are being broken into their land. The AIDS plague is now, more than ever, threatening to enter their villages and extinct their people.
Sadly, it seems to me that I have been given a rare privilege, irretraceable a few years from now, to intimately photograph the tribe's people, at the very last days of their traditional life.
My present project is being done in Southern Ethiopia, near the Sudanese border, where I photograph tribes which inhabit the remote Lower Omo Valley region. In contrary to my intimate relations with the Himba people, here I have to build trust, to create an atmosphere which would allow me to photograph the tribes' people in a relaxed situation, yet proud and reserved as they naturally are.
My photo exhibition "I OMO", which resulted from this ongoing project, opened on 3rd October 2013, in Florentin 45 Contemporary Art Space, in Tel Aviv.
Dori Caspi - Photography | דורי כספי