Anastasia Photo is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition of photographs by Justin Mott. No Man’s Land is on view June 6 – September 15, 2019.
This exhibition is the first installment of Kindred Guardians, Mott’s long-term series documenting people who devote their lives to animal welfare and conserving wildlife.
With no male northern white rhinos left on the planet, No Man’s Land is a poignant swan song to the dedicated caretakers of the last two remaining females, Fatu and Najin.
The northern white rhino is a subspecies of white rhino that historically roamed across Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, following widespread poaching and civil war in their home range, they are now considered extinct in the wild.
In 2009, Najin, Fatu and two males, Sudan and Suni were translocated to Ol Pejeta Conservancy from the Czech Republic’s Dvůr Králové Zoo in hopes that the native habitat for the animals would be conducive to breeding. In the years since their translocation, the rhinos experienced a series of unsuccessful breading attempts and the devastating deaths of Suni (2014) and Sudan (2018).
Najin and Fatu reside in 700-acre enclosure with 24-hour armed security. The caretakers who patrol the park encounter the likes of lions and marauding poachers, the latter of which fired on the guardians in 2018 leading to a firefight that left three poachers dead.
The future of Najin and Fatu’s species now lies in the development of in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques which have never before been attempted on rhinos. Together with Dvůr Králové and IZW Berlin, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is in a race against time to raise 9 million USD towards their Make A Rhino initiative.
Since arriving in Vietnam over a decade ago, Justin Mott (b. 1978, Rhode Island) has established himself as one of the best-known and well-respected photographers in Southeast Asia.
Heavily influenced by Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths' book Agent Orange: Collateral Damage in Viet Nam, Mott traveled to Vietnam in 2005 to work on his own documentary project about Agent Orange victims. "Legacy of Horror", was later published in Newsweek, and awarded the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography by the Parsons School of Design in New York, as well as being published in the PDN Annual Photography Awards Issue.
In 2007, Mott moved to Hanoi to work as a photojournalist and has been working as a contributing photographer for The New York Times in Southeast Asia. Mott has photographed over 100 diverse assignments for the Times covering a wide spectrum of topics throughout the region. Additional major editorial clients include: National Geographic, CNN, BBC, TIME, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Smithsonian, and The Guardian among many others.
OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY
In addition to being home to the world’s two last remaining northern white rhino, Ol Pejeta is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, in a Sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market. Ol Pejeta seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensure wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians.
Anastasia Photo is a gallery that curates exhibitions and public programing around issues of social and environmental importance, specializing in documentary photography and photojournalism. Anastasia Photo is located on 143 Ludlow Street in New York City. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm.