On Working Donkeys (plan)


This is a documentary, in preparation now, on the human condition in struggling lands and/or (post) conflict zones in Africa and/or Asia, to capture political and social landscapes through showing the conditions of the working donkeys, often a symbol of difficult lives.

Though there is 8000 years of working donkey history, and still today, the people in developing lands are dependent of the animals’ backbreaking labor. Donkeys are often overburdened yet treated as unappreciated second citizen. For they symbolize the underprivileged societies, and with my strong personal interest in working equines, I will photograph such societies to capture the essential human conditions through documenting the lives in association with working animals.

This project will capture the contemporary lives and continuing struggles of people with special attention on donkeys. The images of donkeys, the common working animals supporting people’s livelihood as the indispensable companions will appear as the symbol of the discrimination and suppression they face.

I will travel to Africa and/or Asia to photo-document their current situation together with the donkeys. I will portray them free of sentiment or cliché, in order to give them dignity they deserve. Landscapes and the images of their villages and cities will be included showing the environment where they have been living for centuries. Unlike typical journalistic photos, this documentary will be done with slower process of building more personal connections with the models. The images will shine light on their identities and history shaped during the centuries of suppression and their patient resistance against the hardship they are forced into.


My very first photo of a working donkey, Hassiabied, Morocco, 2003


View from a bus, near Fez, Morocco


A boy brought his donkey to the animal market, Nablus, Palestina. He would not look into my camera because he felt ashamed of handling a donkey. Dec, 2016


A rescued working donkey from West Bank to the Safe Haven for Donkey in Israel, yet he was to be euthanized next day. Gan Yoshiya, Israel. Dec 2016


A donkey resting after a day’s work in a village near Korhogo, Ivory Coast. Jul, 2018


A half blind Zazas-Kurdish man, former Muslim teacher, rides his white donkey who knows the ways to go out. Eğil, Turkey. Jun 2019


A half blind man’s donkey without name. Eğil, Turkey. Jun 2019


Mountain view from a hitch-hiked track. Near Uldere, Turkish Kurdistan. Jun. 2019


Syrian border, Ceylanpınar, Turkey.


Kurdish brothers proudly holding toy guns. Doğubeyazıt, Turkey, Jun. 2019


Tigris River as the Turkish-Syrian border at dusk. Cizre, Turkey, Jun. 2019


Donkeys became wild after semi-abandoned, near Mali border, Aouînât er Rajjât, Mauritania. Feb 2020


Vultures flying over a slaughter field, Timbédra, Mauritania. Feb 2020


Donkeys at night. Nouakchott, Mauritania


Boys trying to tame a puppy, Ayoun al Atrous, Mauritania. Feb 2020


Shepherd protecting water for his animals from wild donkeys, Aouînât er Rajjât, Maritania. Feb 2020


A dead and abandoned donkey, Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Feb 2020


A mother donkey and her foal after sunset, Timbédra, Mauritania. Feb 2020


Book dummy "The Gray Book of Donkey" (2015)
Shortlisted: Rock Your Dummy, Paris, 2015