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LEE HOWELL

Maasai - Before the Storm

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About the artwork

The photographic series Tribe is among Lee Howell?s flagship projects. Inspired by the Maasai tribes, his photographs retranscribe the impressions of his trip to East Africa in 2002. He was lucky enough to meet the Maasai, a population of farmers and semi-nomadic warriors, to talk with them and participate in their dancing rituals. With the collaboration of Stacy Jansen, an American costume designer for theatre, cinema and television, the photographer reconstituted images based on his memories. The foreground thus features the protagonists armed and dressed in red garb, recreated in accordance with traditional dress. They are staged in vast wilderness landscapes that stretch into the background. Lee Howell does not seek to confer an entirely realistic framework on his subjects, but instead to create photographs that generate an emotional reaction on the part of the spectator in the light of the elegance and rich diversity of this culture, but also to recall the importance of individualities in the world that are often overlooked.

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