Award winning Southend photographer Terry Mendoza is holding his first public exhibition at The People’s Gallery, The Forum, Elmer Square all this May.
He will be showcasing his work with African tribes, photographing their portraits, customs and lifestyles. Beautiful portraits, coming of age rituals and dance displays all feature in the colourful gallery.
This project has been nearly five years in the making, taking him well off the beaten track, camping in remote regions, travelling barely used tracks or dry river beds to visit tribes. For many this was their first encounter with a white face!
He explained: “Western influences, like the building of roads, are rapidly obliterating tribal dress and customs. I wanted to document the amazing colour and diversity of these tribes before their culture disappears. Hopefully highlighting what is happening could be the catalyst to slow or prevent further change.”
“It was an honour and privilege to have spent time with these people – my enduring impression was how positive and cheerful they are, living a most spartan existence in, by Western standards, astonishingly hostile environments. With my images I want to share my emotional connection I’ve had with these tribes, their sheer beauty, dignity and friendliness.”
Detailed information notes will be available at the show to explain the backgrounds to the customs.