Portraits of survival and hope: a new series from acclaimed photographer Nick Brandt
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series by acclaimed photographer Nick Brandt, portraying people and animals that have been impacted by environmental degradation and destruction.
The people in these photographs were all affected by climate change, displaced by cyclones and years-long droughts. Photographed at five sanctuaries, the animals were rescues that can never be rewilded. As a result, it was safe for human strangers to be close to them, photographed so close to them, within the same frame. The fog on location is the unifying visual motif, conveying the sense of an ever-increasing limbo, a once-recognizable world now fading from view. However, despite their respective losses, these people and animals have survived, and therein lies possibility and hope.
Nick Brandt (born 1964) studied film and painting at St Martin’s College in London. He turned to photography in 2001 with his trilogy On This Earth, A Shadow Falls and Across the Ravaged Land. His more recent books are Inherit the Dust (2016) and This Empty World (2019). He lives in Southern California.
“Nick Brandt is an artist and witness who seizes bleak and desperate fates, and by some mystery and alchemy, transmutes these into a gesture of poignant and painful beauty. It has been an eon, and then some, since I experienced contemporary photographs of people of African roots created by a person of Euro-American origin, that were this tender, human and gorgeous.” –Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, author of Dust and The Dragonfly Sea, from the foreword to The Day May Break.