ONE HUMANITY. ONE TRIBE.
AMAZON JUNGLE, ECUADOR, 2001
tribe is a community built on a backbone of shared values, beliefs,
and purpose in life. Our earliest ancestors banded together beyond the primal bonds of kinship in order to survive. These first tribes blazed a trail for the grand experiment we call society, which taught us to be human. We are now the only surviving species of Hominini — the human tribe.
Tribe is my homage to the human tribe in remembrance of our common purpose and meaning. It’s a meditation on who we are, how we got here, and on the improbable good fortune of our existence. It’s about origins and endings, about people, about faces that haunt, about the passage of time and nostalgia for an innocence lost, about mortality and return. The images showcased here have been meticulously selected from a vault of thousands of rolls of film and countless terabytes of data. They are categorized into eight chapters representing the stages of the human experience: life, death, and ideas of the afterlife.
Over the past thirty years, my camera has been an instrument to see into the shadows of the human soul. My encounters with cultures around the world and people from all walks of life have granted me with one golden nugget of wisdom: that there is no race but the human race. And its beauty stems from our sameness despite our differences. Every person has a story of love and heartbreak, of joy and tragedy, hope and despair. Everyone shares similar dreams and aspirations. Every single human is fascinating if we care to look and listen.
Tribe is a celebration of every one of us that makes up the human tribe. It reflects my awe of being alive and my thrill of discovering what it means to be us in every shape, color, and form. It is rooted in the hope that the very ingenuity that allowed us to come so far, so fast, guides us to a future connected as one humanity. One tribe. ▪️
AMAZON JUNGLE, ECUADOR, 2002
THE BIRTH OF CONSCIOUSNESS
ach human being that is born is twice conceived: in body and in
mind. At the moment of physical birth, the mind awakens, naked, unformed, knowing nothing of the new world beyond itself. Immersed into a reality shaped by millennia of human progress, individual consciousness develops within the framework of our collective past. As primitive beings, our awareness was restricted to raw sensory data and a simple pleasure-pain mechanism. Survival in a hostile environment forced man to think, to reflect, to establish a figurative and linguistic understanding of objects, of differences, of transitivity.
Adaptation to external stresses stimulated the unconscious soul to evolve into the fully conscious, aware soul, and human clans split out along diverging evolutionary paths. While modern society evolved technologically, indigenous cultures established a profound and intimate understanding of nature. Today, their worldview is synonymous with the rainforest itself, and what may seem to us to be "primitive life" is actually a masterly adaptation to the environment. Their earth is vibrant with life and mystery; and in the depths of their ancient wisdom lie the origin and essence of the entire human race. ▪️
SRI LANKA, 2015
THE INNOCENT EYE
hildhood is carved out by sounds and smells and sights, before ritual
and maturity strips life of its daily magic. Each new experience, each new encounter leaves an indelible impression on a virgin mind. Ideas and thoughts, bursting with wonder and naiveté, reach up like trees towards the imagination; reach down like roots into the joy of existence. Though adults create the world in which a child enters, through innocent eyes, the rooms of an ordinary home somehow appear more grand, and the shadows near the bed at night loom in a more delightful horror. In the golden light of dawn, everything glitters forever for a moment. ▪️
THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
ulture defines our society, fuels our differences, and highlights our
similarities. Across vast oceans and awesome distances, along parched lands on and upward to the mountains, surrounded by the heat, the dust and the rumble of distant drums, every culture celebrates life by accentuating different parts of the same reality. Each defines its own purpose and meaning, shaped by particular ideas, values and beliefs, and colored by distinct rituals and ceremonies. Through experience, observation and inference, cultures and individuals alike gain knowledge.
As society evolves, culture is created and recreated in every individual mind. The making of a mind is, first, the slow arduous process of learning shapes, purposes and values. Then, it is the rudimentary testing of this awareness through experience, and the understanding of subtle interconnections of details. Ultimately, the mind, as the locus of identity, bends the world to its own ends, celebrating individuality through creativity and self-expression.▪️
THE REFLECTION OF TIME
ime is a fundamental concept within the framework of human existence.
Atoms disintegrate, living beings die, and galaxies collapse, but a sequence of moments — time — marches forward, independent of circumstances, indifferent to consequences. Due to its elusive nature, man fashioned ways to capture and contain time by relating it to recurring events and objects like the motion of the sun, the phases of the moon, or the swing of a pendulum.
Today, our basic needs and functions of eating, sleeping, working, and even thinking revolve around the instruments of time. They rule our world like a Renaissance pope, bringing order to it with their two holy hands. With each tick and tock, these hands mold our lives and push us to our fates. Whereas time seemed endless during childhood, with age, in our hectic pursuit of desires and aspirations, the reflection of time ironically reminds us of its limits, in each day and in our lives.▪️
THE UNIFICATION OF WAVES
nergies drive our inner life and form the various levels of our soul.
A wide range of energies conditions and nourishes our life, from the fragmented sensory impulses that keep us functioning with minimal awareness, to the transcendent waves of unification. As a natural response to the individualization process that propelled growth in earlier years, through the constant clash of pleasure and pain, happiness and loss, we receive a deep inner call for confluence and wholeness.
With youth and beauty as vestiges of the past, our attention focuses less on the material world and more upon a necessity to balance our inner and outer oppositions, to heal, and to return gracefully to our source. Yet what the world imprints on us can never be erased for each face wears the nostalgic wrinkle of time. Reflected in the eyes are the remnants of a dream, the shreds of experiences and memories that form the intricate mosaic of all that is and all that will inevitably be lost.▪️
THE TRANSITION TO SPACE
verything in the universe, from the life forms on earth to the stars
above, is in a constant state of flux. Even solid matter, at a molecular level, is in motion. Nothing stands still. All is transitory. In an ever-evolving cosmic drama, everything is either expanding or contracting, growing or decaying, coming or going. The world is neither black nor white, but rather always in the process of lightening and darkening. Within the shadows and highlights, and in the intermediate spaces between sea, sky and earth, a landscape achieves its continuity. Just as the evening spreads out against the sky, infusing high clouds with blushes of burnt orange and flaming red to usher in the night, so do many ancient cultures celebrate death as a rite of passage, a phase in which the deceased and the mourners both enter a zone of transition within the changing continuum of life. Here, space pervades: the space left after the loss, the space that waits for us to move on to, and the space into which the soul journeys.▪️
THE IMMERSION INTO DREAM
acant eyes stare inward into endless space. No horizon. No
sense. Scattered memories of another time and place flicker then fade in a cloud of shimmering stardust, leaving a hazy, luminous spiral stretching across the heavens. Daring, brave, inspired by freedom and chaos, the explosions of new novas obliterate familiarity, shaping new meanings in a new universe. Surreal and amorphous worlds awaken in nebulous glory, their landscapes imbued with diffuse, impressionistic textures and patterns. Nothing is defined, everything is indiscernible, and the possibilities are infinite in expression and interpretation. Stars within galaxies, atoms within molecules, worlds within worlds, recursively iterate an infinity of dreams in an instant, and infinity multiplies by infinity for an eternity spawning a reality beyond words and logic, with no beginning, no end. Only unfathomable beauty.▪️