Jack Harries

Canary in the mine

‘Somaliland’s Nomads’ is a portrait series from one remote desert village surviving the drought and hunger crisis in Somaliland.

Somaliland is a self declared and autonomously run region in the north western part of Somalia. Home to 4.4 million inhabitants, it’s own currency, army and parliament.

More than 1.5 million people have been affected by the drought afflicting the state and most of its livestock has been wiped out. For years now, Somaliland, like much of East Africa, has experienced extreme drought. However recently the drought has become increasingly severe, with thousands on the brink of starvation, the government of Somaliland declared a national emergency.

Somaliland could be considered the canary in the mine in a world that is getting hotter and where extreme weather conditions are becoming more common. For Somaliland’s nomads, the increasing frequency and ferocity of drought is an immediate life-or-death challenge that pushes their already precarious existence to the edge.

Taken in a portable studio, in this series I have removed the subjects from their direct environment in order to challenge the cliched depictions of the region.