David Burdeny

Before Ever After: Photographs from Kenya and Tanzania

Mass extinctions, which periodically wipe out up to 95 percent of species occur every 50-100 million years.  In the last 40 years, nearly 50 percent of wildlife around the world has disappeared.  Just this last year, the earth lost its last White Rhino to old age. It species survived insurmountable challenges for thousands of years, but in the end it was unable to survive us.  If the science is correct, we are currently in the middle of the sixth such extinction because we left no safe space for millions of species to sustainably coexist. 

With the planet at a crossroads, I returned to Africa to catch a glimpse into one of the Earths last wild places - an area of prehistory that  connects us to a time before modern man reigned supreme  

As a landscape photographer I search out extraordinary aspects of a place, open myself up to the reality of a scene and translate that into an image. In many ways I’m a guide - sharing those experiences so people know these places exist and are important. The beauty I found here was  almost indescribable - visceral, fluid and raw. It stops you dead in your tracks and humbles you. 

Knowing this could all be gone in ones own lifetime was heart-breaking. My hope is these images will serve to build bridges of empathy to these sensitive landscapes and ecosystems. We need these wild places as much as the animals who call it home do, for wilderness is the fabric of our universe.  We are a biological creature as they are, breathing the same air, drinking the same water and walking on the same earth. We are not separate from the landscape - as they are not - and so to save these places is also about saving us.

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