Bunker Bugs


I walk slowly into the steel reinforced, concrete bunker at UNICEF in Malakal. It’s dank and moist with virtually no ventilation. I begin to sweat immediately. I assume it was built in response to fairly serious rounds of fighting in Malakal in recent years, perhaps most notably in 2008 when Joint Integrated Units of northern and southern soldiers split apart and fought heavily throughout the town.

In one corner of the bunker, I notice the largest cockroach I’ve ever seen. I tried my best to scale it with my hand in this photo but it still does not do justice to the creature.

Malakal at this time of year is teaming with all kinds of massive bugs. As I stood in that sweltering bunker, wet, dark and infested, I wondered if I might take brave a few rounds rather than sleep the night inside. Filled with people for days on end, I can imagine few situations that would require more fortitude.



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For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by stories. Through much of my life, I satisfied this interest with the study of history. The topics of war, uprising, social movements and sexuality defined my course of historical study and generated a deep curiosity in the modern aspects of these issues. While the past enthralls me, my interest in creating modern primary documents ultimately won out. Since 2005, I have worked to document the individual consequences of war, poverty and social unrest. Through a combination of photography, text, and audio recordings, I hope to illustrate broader issues through individual stories. I aim to create images and material that demand consideration for the lives of those depicted. I believe that intimate, sensitive photographs leave indelible marks on the conscience and actively oppose the sterilization of human suffering.

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