‘Walok’, meaning love in one of the many dialects of the Baliem Valley, is a visual journey into the world of the Dani Tribe. With a focus on black and white portraiture, Stephane Sensey displays his masterful photographs of the Dani lands and people through these pages, capturing the essence of a society left behind by time. Accompanying his photographs, Edward Speirs delicately explains the lives of the subject people, revealing odd pieces of their culture, belief and history.
I was introduced to Stephane Sensey by an old friend I really trust; she said, “this man’s photographs are so powerful, so deep, we need to show them to the world!” That’s a pretty compelling introduction and I wondered if the reality would live up to the promise.
As it happens, the reality exceeds the promise by a huge margin. These are photographs so rich in culture, so deeply ingrained into the soul of the people they depict, that words are hardly necessary. The images themselves tell the story of a people, cocooned in forests, set apart from the developed world, and wholly integrated with their beliefs, practices and surroundings.
It is a series of photographs that capture the last remnants of a bygone era, the sort of pictures we ogled at in National Geographic before they jet age banished “distant lands” to the history books. They are truly magnificent as are the Dani people they so beautifully capture.
Indonesia is blessed with diversity so rich it is often ignored an even rejected. These pictures, and this simple text expertly written by Edward Speirs, bring the Dani to Life, even ig all the pictures are in black and white. The detail of the pictures and the sparsity of the text art perfectly matched.
Congratulations to both photographer and author for a compelling and absorbing book. This should be read around the world. My only fear is that people will try to find these un-spoilt places and un-spoilt people and spoil them forever.
Alistair Speirs, OBE - Publisher
Size: 21cm (W) x 23cm (H)Softcover
Pages: 124 pages including Cover in English
Shipping Weight: 1 kg
Published: Phoenix Communications Publishers
Regular Retail Price: Rp 250,000
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