Cradle of Mankind is the newest series by Canadian-born photographer, Joey L. Shot in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, and featuring portraits of the various tribes that inhabit the area. The photographs are a deeply moving, visual homage to the tribal peoples of Ethiopia, the birthplace of Homo sapiens.
The photographs from Cradle of Mankind, along with Joey L.’s documentary film, Faces of a Vanishing World (watch the trailer after the jump)– which first aired on Ovation TV in September 2010, chronicle the artist’s deep interest in Ethiopia, and the rapid transition of it’s oldest cultures. During his time in the country, Joey L. lived with various tribes in the region, learning the different customs of each while capturing individual portraits. Though these tribes may seem untouched by time, they are in fact in constant danger of disappearing forever. The artist states in a 2010 NPR interview that he is interested in anthropology and likes photographing different cultures, “but the ones I’ve been paying attention to lately are the, I suppose what you’d call vanishing ones, … the cultures that are on the verge of extinction, tribes that are threatened by progress and losing their language and losing their ways of life that they’ve sustained for thousands of years.”
See a selection of Cradle Of Mankind from June 21st-August 4th 2012 at Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles