On Working Donkeys

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.