A Camel for the Son.  Photographs by Fazal Sheikh.

A Camel for the Son.

Photographs by Fazal Sheikh.
Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam, 2001. 124 pp., numerous duotone illustrations, 6¾x8½".

The power of photography is refulgent in these two books. They stand on par with such timeless classics as George Rodger's Village of the Nuba (Cat# ZB361H) and Gilles Peress' The Silence (Cat# PK269S). These two projects address the plight of the Somali people, particularly the abuses born by the women in their war-torn homeland and the struggles of those who have sought asylum in the Netherlands. Visually, A Camel for the Son opens with several sweeping photographs of Somali refugee camps on the Kenyan-Somali border, followed by portraits of women and their children in the camp. Ramadan Moon is the story of one woman's difficulties in emigrating to the Netherlands; far from a general condemnation of government, it addresses the problem by relating a powerful personal story. The books themselves are humble, serene, and perfectly designed to match the importance of their content, which marries text (including passages from the Qur'an) and images. Neither the words nor the images are an appurtenance to the other; a model for all documentary photographers.

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