Striking Photographs Of Tribespeople Aim To “Make Cultural Differences Insignificant”

by Brenda Pitt


The Spanish art director and photographer Diego Arroyo takes an unusual and refreshing approach to photographing the tribespeople of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. Instead of the portraits of tribespeople we might be familiar with, those with a clinical or sociological– and often problematic– perspective, he navigates lifestyles different from his own “in search of the subtle” gestural and expressive fibers that tie us all together as human beings.



His images aren’t as geographically focused as they are examples of the most pure form of photographic portraiture. Portraitists from Nadar to Platon have perfected the art of making subjects at ease, capturing a glance or a wrinkle that reveals the “underlying magic that deserves to be seen as usually remains unnoticeable.” Arroyo explains, “Showing that overall honest connection is the main purpose of my work. In a way, I try to make people relate to the subject, catch glimpses of their deep emotions and personalities.” 



These photographs are so striking not because the tribespeople’s clothing or daily activities may differ from ours but because of the unabashed emotionality with which they are shot. And that might pose a problem to some; they might not necessarily appeal to the viewer who seeks education about the lifestyles of the tribesmen and women. It’s for those who yearn for connection with fellow men and women who might at first seem too far away for intimacy, geographically or culturally. What do you think of the images? Please let us know in the comments!



Thanks to Flavorwire and Behance

Images via Flavorwire

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