Nangorot Turkana, Loiyangalani by Xavier Guardans
Published by Damiani
Text by Christopher Harth, Amanda Schmitt
Windows is the debut volume of photographer Xavier Guardans (born 1954), produced in 2006 while exploring the Kenyan wilderness. These black-and-white portraits of individuals from a variety of Kenyan tribes–including Turkana, Samburu, Masai, Rendille, Gabra and Pokot–were shot through the window of Guardans’ Toyota Land Cruiser. The background is empty (only bright white light outlines each individual), while the dark window acts as an equalizing picture frame. Despite (or because of) the uniform background and constant frame, the position and composure of the people photographed varies greatly, especially in the position of the hands–one man carries two baby goats in his arms, some hands are hidden, and many hands and arms invade the car window, leaning or reaching in, toward the viewer. Windows is the first in a series of five books to be published featuring Guardans’ long-term photographic projects.