At the beginning of  "jando", the Yao circumcision ceremony that initiates boys into manhood, families watch dancing by the head initiator who will perform the circumcisions along with his deputy partner. The dance is designed to entertain and reassure worried parents who will not be present when their children are circumcised in an exclusive encampment. Here, the head circumcisionist,  Wilson Songo, a 33 year old second-hand clothing salesman, dances before the crowd. Mangochi District, Malawi. August 3, 2006

Liz Gilbert

October 25, 2014 by Laura Gomez


PHOTO Interview

Name: Liz Gilbert
Age: 45
Birthday: November 12
College: Parsons

Favorite Color: Brown
Favorite Book: Warriors and Strangers by Gerald Hanley
Favorite Movie: The Killing Fields
Favorite Food: Paleo Banana pancakes!

For how long have been in photography?
Over 20 years

How did you start?
With a plane ticket to Africa, a camera and a map….

How would you define yourself as an artist?
Jack of many trades, master of none, but the fun is in the trying Elizabeth L. Gilbert moved to Africa in 1991 to work as a photojournalist. Her images of conflicts and cultural issues in Somalia, Rwanda, and other East African countries have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, Life, and the New York Times as well as other European publications. She is the author of Broken Spears: A Maasai Journey and Tribes of the Great Rift Valley.

Please could you tell us about “TRIBES OF THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY” ?
LIZ: The book is a collection of images from a three year journey across the Great Rift Valley documenting whatever remained of traditional culture and adornment.

How did you get the idea to film”THE LAST SAFARI”movie www.thelastsafarimovie.com?
LIZ: I always wanted to bring the photos I had taken back to the people who made them possible. It was a dream even when  I was working on the books.
The people in the photographs were the ones I most wanted to see them. www.thelastsafarimovie.com

Was it difficult to finance the production and post production of the movie?
LIZ: Fund raising is always a challenge. We felt truly humbled by the support we received from both private investors as well as our Kickstarter sponsors.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/135267184/the-last-safari

Where we can see the movie?
LIZ: Right now it is touring film festivals and should be available on DVD and digital download in 2015. You can always go to the website
or Facebook page to watch the trailer and learn more about screening opportunities at: www.thelastsafarimovie.com and www.facebook.com/thelastsafari

Do you have anothers works/projects has given you the most satisfaction?
Designing jewelry referenced in African history with African artists for my company Shompole Collection www.facebook.com/ShompoleCollection has been a creative venture that has given me a lot of pleasure. Making things with my hands, working alongside other artists, finding inspiration in Africa – these are things are all connected.

Who are the photographer’s you admire the most?
LIZ: Malick Sidibe, Edward Curtis, James Nachtwey….but there are so many inspiring photographers out there. Right now I am loving Mutua Matheka’s architectural photography

What about architects and designers?
I’m building a treehouse now and so I am looking more at set design for inspiration – everything from Pirates of the Caribbean to old Tarzan film and of course the Swiss family Robinson stuff.

What are your next projects?
Apart from the treehouse, I am starting a media collective in Kenya called Toolbox and am hoping to recruit talented young Kenyan photographers.