‘Confluence’ documents the tribes-people of southern Africa. Created across two years spent along the Kunene River, internationally acclaimed photographer Christopher Rimmer’s work raises pertinent questions about the tension between modernity and tradition.
Internationally acclaimed photographer Christopher Rimmer’s new series ‘Confluence - Tradition & Modernity in the Last Remaining Tribes of Africa’, features striking portraits of tribes-people. Now available at Angela Tandori Fine Art, these works raise pertinent questions about the pressures of modernity and inadvertently, the arbitrariness online censorship.
Among the tribes represented are semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Ovahimba people. In an accessible region, this tribe has become a popular tourist destination for Westerners. With his guide and assistant Owen Kataparo (an Ovahimba man), South African-raised Rimmer spent two years exploring this phenomena, finding that despite being well-intentioned, Western intervention can be destructive. This problem of misconceived judgement has arisen in another way. When posted to Facebook, Rimmer’s portrait of a bare-breasted Ovahimba woman was deemed inappropriate, resulting in the removal of the cover image from Christopher Rimmer's 'Confluence' exhibition by Facebook and the photographer banned for a month.
As an online business, Angela Tandori Fine Art is also now confined by this - having to limit what works can be sold through Google shopping, Instagram and Facebook. Not only deeply inconvenient, Rimmer describes the ban as symptomatic of online gender discrimination.
Despite Facebook’s inference that these images are obscene, they are anything but. Instead ‘Confluence‘ pulsates with pride. It captures proud peoples in negotiation with their evolving identity. Since Rimmer states they “will be unrecognisable in fifty years”, these works become vital.