In 1987, an exodus of 20,000 children took place. They were fleeing genocide from the country now known as South Sudan. Four years later, they ran from a camp in Ethiopia after its government was overturned and were eventually led by the United Nations to Kakuma, a refugee camp established for them in Kenya. By then, more than half had perished during their journey from drowning, thirst, starvation, crocodile and lion attacks, or militia ambushes.
Thirty-eight hundred Lost Boys were resettled to the U.S. when international attention was brought to their plight in 2001. Most of the others returned to South Sudan, risking their lives in the continued civil war. Others died from disease or suicide. But 410 Lost Boys and Girls still live in Kakuma – two and a half decades later.
These refugees are now men and women with sons and daughters of their own. After 26 years, they still cling to the hope of finding a place they may call home, where they might thrive. Some are defiant; some, dispirited. All are lost.
Prints are available 11" x 17" on 13" x 19" on Moab Entrada paper. Archival pigment prints. Editions of 10.
Lost is a special edition of 10 boxed sets. It includes 12 portraits, a letter-press introduction, and an essay, all printed on hand-made paper and cradled in a custom clam shell box made with organic materials. All profits go directly to the children of the Lost Boys and Girls to help with their educational fees and to establish a library.
Hundreds of thousands have walked this thread of road that cuts a wide expanse of desert and open sky — from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Somalia, and South Sudan — escaping civil war and persecution. The cruel irony is that few are ever able to escape Kakuma’s terminus.
They are refugees living in a camp harshly named Kakuma, which translated, means ‘nowhere.’ It is illegal to call this place home. They face systemic corruption, deplorable health care, a lack of food and water, and oppressive living conditions with temperatures hovering around 100°. They are trapped with nowhere to go.
Each morning, I watch with curiosity as they walk into their day, traveling back and forth between the camp and a nearby town for supplies. They look towards the horizon and continue to hope that one day they’ll be allowed to venture somewhere ‘out there,’ where they’ll be welcomed and can once again have a place they may call home.
Prints are available in 10" x 10" on 13" x 13" or 20" x 20" on 24" x 24" dimensions. Archival pigment prints on hot press paper. Editions of 10. For purchasing information, contact Foto Relevance.
OUT OF DARKNESS
The photographs and stories in this body of work are based on the lives of refugees from across the world, and the people dedicated to helping them. They all now live in Houston.
Each conversation, its story, and the gentle nature of its teller, left me enriched and inspired, but emotionally exhausted. As one refugee told me, “one of the only things we have in common is the insane violence we have all witnessed.” Most wouldn’t discuss that violence in detail; when they did though, it was beyond comprehension. One man witnessed his family being raped and butchered in a single morning; all forty-two family members were massacred.
Those I photographed are one of the .089% of the more than 25 million refugees worldwide who will ever be resettled.
Prints of formal portraits with black backgrounds are available in 9" x 6" or 17 x 11" on Moab Entrada paper. Environmental portraits are available in 17" x 11" on 19" x 13" on Moab Entrada paper, or in 31" x 20" on 36" x 24", on hot press paper. Archival pigment prints. Editions of 10.
THE GROUND ON WHICH I STAND
Tamina is one of the few remaining emancipation communities in the United State. It's thought to be the oldest freedmen’s town in Texas. Freed slaves, a handful of whom had funds to buy their own land, created this community in 1871. They built their own churches, schools and businesses, tilled their land, and worked in the flourishing lumber industry. Their stories reveal a deep-rooted kinship, with values centered on family and community. Regardless of the challenges these people have faced, their faith, gratitude, and humor always thread their tales.
The portrait, “Johnny” (the image of the man in the plaid coat) was on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery during January 2017.
Read more about Tamina and The Ground on Which I Stand in the following links:
Prints are available 11" x 17" on 13" x 19" on Moab Entrada paper. Archival pigment prints. Editions of 10. For purchasing information, contact Marti Corn
The Ground on Which I Stand, a collection of portraits and landscapes, along with the oral histories of 14 people and their families is published by Texas A&M Press. For an autographed copy, please contact Marti Corn.
Salzwedel is a bustling medieval town of 20,000. Its charming cobblestone streets wind between centuries-old stone buildings, with a river flowing through. Scarred remnants of the wall which once divided East from West Germany still remain. In the center of town, there is an abandoned four-story building covering most of a medieval block, with soaring ceilings, arching windows, and a looming clock tower. Throughout the 20th century it has been used to serve people — as a private girls’ school in the early part of the century, a hospital during World War II, and a school for the Young Pioneers, part of The Free German Youth founded within the Soviet occupation zone of Germany. Now, it is being reclaimed, becoming known as Kunsthaus, an art center that will feature a permanent collection, visiting exhibits, and a floor dedicated to artists-in-residence and art courses.
While in residency at Hilmsen, a neighboring village, I invited residents who support the arts to have their portraits made. Each was asked why art is important to them, how it affects their lives, and which medium they would like to explore. Some brought their children and others arrived with their instruments. All brought enthusiasm and show of support for Kunsthaus.
Prints are availablein 17" x 11" on Moab Entrada paper. Archival pigment prints. Editions of 10. For purchasing information, contact Marti Corn
KIBERA TO GEM
The countryside surrounding Nairobi is rich and lush – in contrast to the poverty seen in every direction from inside the city.
These images were made during my first journey to Kenya, where I traveled with Pangea Network meeting with women in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums, located on the outskirts of Nairobi and then driving out to Gem located on the western border's edge.
Prints are available in 5" x 5" on 8.5" x 8.5" or 10" x 10" on 13" x 13" dimensions. Archival pigment prints on hot press paper. Editions of 10. Some are also available as Photogravures.For purchasing information, contact Marti Corn.