“Vulnerable”: Photography Book’s Beautiful Portraits of Indigenous Peoples from Ethiopia to Remote Russia and Myanmar
It’s not easy to experience other cultures right now, but through a stunning new photography book you can get a beguiling insight into the world’s most colourful communities from the comfort of your own home.
‘Vulnerable’ by Olga Michi features hundreds of striking photographs of indigenous people taken everywhere from Ethiopia to extreme north-east Russia.
Set against powerful black backdrops, the portraits capture both the historical and contemporary elements of indigenous life around the globe in order to portray ‘cultures and individuals in flux’.
In her introduction to the book, Michi says: ‘Some are dressed exclusively in the traditional garb of their ancestors, while others hold guns or sit astride motorcycles; here we have traditional jewelry and textiles cohabiting with boomboxes, AK-47s, iPhones and keyrings. I have lived among and learned from the way of life of indigenous peoples from the Kalahari to the Arctic tundra. Few people, I think, have been given more opportunities to be humbled by the awe-inspiring variety of the world and its inhabitants, nor to become aware of the wisdom, capacities and value of cultures on which we have historically looked down.’
The title of the book, meanwhile, is intended to be a question as much as a statement.
Michi explains: ‘There’s no denying that in any number of ways the world’s indigenous peoples are acutely vulnerable. But those peoples are not undifferentiated, anonymous masses, mere statistics: they are groups of individuals, and the individuals that appear in these pages are very far from helpless.’