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George Rodger; Village of the Nubas (Contemporary Artists (Phaidon)) Hardcover – 30 Sep 1999
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'This facsimile edition, the size of an ordinary novel, tells the story of Rodger's great African journey and how he came to know the Nuba people. It combines great travel writing with some of the best known travel photography of our era. It's a wonderful little book.' (British Journal of Photography)
'One of the classics of photographic literature … a remarkable anthropological study cum travel book, small in format, yet perfectly formed.' (Art Newspaper)
'This classic collection of photographic images, accompanied by Rodger's honed text, is a stunning testament to a way of life long since vanished in Africa.' (Good Book Guide)
In 1949, photographer George Rodger was granted permission to spend some time with the Nuba tribe. The Nubas were a people living in a state of primitivism, exactly as their ancestors had centuries before. The photographer presented the tribe in heroic terms, remarking that the Nubas were a people whom "progress of any kind had passed by". This text collects the photographs previously published in "Le Village de Noubas", showing the people taking part in sports such as spear-throwing, wrestling, and stick-fighting.See all Product description
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The book is not condescending and deals with its subjects in a most human and even-handed manner. Well-worth reading!
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In that Rodger was celebrating the Nubas (there are a hundred Kordofanian languages) as “a rare link with the Africa of time passed… progress of any kind had passed them by,” according to Hamilton, Rodger “felt saddened that his words and pictured, published in magazine articles throughout the world, brought the Nubas to the attention not merely of the outside world, but [of] their own government. The newly independent Islamic state pressured the Nubas into changing their way of life, obliging them to cover their bodies and outlawing their fighting contests.”
Rodger and his entourage were only there eleven days, and the book does not pretend to be an ethnography (the ethnographer of the Nuba Mountains was R.C. Stevenson, who had begun publishing on them before Rodger’s sojourn). Rodger’s descriptions are travel writing with black-and-white photos (in the book; Hamilton says Rodger shot some in color, as Leni Riefenstahl would do and have published in a much larger format than the posthumous Phaidon Rodger book).
Alas, the South Sudan was devastated in the civil wars beginning soon after the publication of the book, that did not really end with 2011 division of North and South Sudan, continuing with major famine now.