I’ve lived in Kenya most of my life, so when I chose Lamu and its archipelago in east Africa for my major project, I wanted to search for personal moments in a place linked to my own life story. I feel there exists a sense of stillness in Lamu, something impervious to the passage of time, but where the human factor plays a determining role. I have tried to avoid images we usually see of the innocent beauty of Dhows sailing at sea, or the intricate mystery of mangrove channels, or
dramatic sunsets, in place of a search for the human reality of the archipelago. This reality is made of suffering and abandonment, of hidden, almost lost traditions, of spirituality and the inevitable and tragic confrontation with the outside world in the 21st century.
Siegfried Modola received an honours degree in BA Journalism and Media Communication. He worked for the United Nations (IRIN) as photographer and photo editor and has taken pictures for Agence France Presse, Reuters, Getty Images, BBC, IRIN and other UN agencies. He exhibited in the 2007 Foreign Correspondent Association of East Africa
photo exhibition held in Nairobi and has attended Reuters workshops. He has also worked as photo editor for AFP in Paris. His stories range from marginalised Pygmies in Rwanda and cattle rustling in northern Kenya, to the humanitarian situation of refugees on the Kenya-Sudan and Kenya-Somalia borders.