Former Mandurah photographer looks into the Spirit of Maasai

FORMER Mandurah photographer Jarrad Seng  opens his third solo exhibition, Spirit of the Maasai, on September 2 at The Hive in Northbridge. 

The series features portraits of children living in Maasai villages in remote Tanzania.

Engrossed by the beauty of Tanzania’s sub-Saharan landscapes and the stoicism of the Maasai people from a previous trip in 2011, Seng travelled back to the Great Rift Valley to further engage with their culture and document their stories through photographs. 

Now with years of experience behind him, Seng approached the portraits with newfound focus and confidence, choosing to centre the collection around the Maasai children.

“I found myself drawn to the younger generation of Maasai and have attempted to convey the many facets of their personalities in these photographs – their curiosity, innocence, independence and pride,” Seng said. 

“Despite not speaking a common language, I felt a special connection to each of the children that went beyond the lens.”

While there, Seng set out with his Maasai guide Lawrence Mafuru in an ambitious mission to reconnect with the same people he photographed three years earlier. 

Against the odds they were able to track down each person and present them with canvas prints of their earlier selves.

All proceeds from print sales will go towards Ujamaa Children’s Home Orphanage and Boma Africa – humanitarian organisations in Arusha committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education and access to clean water. 

Seng has previously been involved in community projects such as Home Is Where My Heart Is, The Oaktree Foundation and volunteering projects in Nepal. 

“These portraits are very special to me. I’m very excited to give my friends in Perth a glimpse into a world vastly different than ours, and hope to inspire others to travel and experience the world in a socially conscience way,” Seng said.

Spirit of the Maasai will run until September 21.

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