Adrian Arbib

Featured Work: Solsbury Hill

After studying photography at the London College of Printing in 1984, I concentrated on human rights and social documentary photography.

Alongside environmental author George Monbiot, I travelled to Irian Jaya to document the destruction of the Papuan culture and land rights and contributed to the book ‘Poisoned Arrows’. Similarly in Kenya, for the Turkana pastoralists (for the book ‘No Mans Land’) and in Rwanda for the Twa (pygmies), I travelled to pictorially cover their experiences of marginalisation and human rights abuses.

With some backing from Christian Aid in 1989 I travelled to Northern Namibia to document the San (Bushmen)

The one underlying factor for all these peoples has been the destruction of tribal land rights; minority groups have no say in government and find themselves marginalised to the point of cultural genocide. For many there are only two options open to them: change or cease to exist.

The same is going on in England. Protest at the destruction of the countryside not only provided colourful photographs but a clear message that people care and want to do something about it. It’s an indictment of our progress that we can’t see when to stop or how to make our society a better place to live in.

Images are only one way of describing what is going on, but they are a powerful medium – transcending language and cultural differences. They help build a relationship and sense of responsibility to the issues described in the image that may otherwise be lost in verbal or written descriptions.

More information and images can be found at www.arbib.org