In many African societies, old age is revered. A man or woman who has suffered life’s ordeals and survived is respected. Being an “elder” in a community is a stage of human growth that is earned and cannot be bought or ordained. After youth and beauty have dropped away what’s left is the distillation of character. It’s written in the face.
I made this portrait of a Dinka elder during a time of great hunger in his community. His eyes speaks volumes, as if to say, “I have seen all this before.” I wish I knew his story.