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Documenting the Impact of Climate Change: Migwa Nthiga’s Walks of Life

a man standing next to a body of water
All images © Migwa Nthiga, shared with permission

The climate crisis is a reality that is being felt by people all over the world. In some cases, the effects are more pronounced than in others. Inhabitants near Lake Turkana in Kenyan’s north have been acutely feeling the consequences of climate change. In a region traditionally experiencing drought conditions, recurrent droughts are now depleting water sources for plants, livestock, and human consumption, driving people to seek more reliable environments with better agricultural prospects.

In his thought-provoking series, Walks of Life, photographer Migwa Nthiga explores the plight of Indigenous Nilotic people native to Turkana who have been affected by climate change and forced to leave their traditional lifestyles behind. “It’s typical to have foreign photographers with their own biases and motives come here, telling stories that don’t necessarily capture the real essence of our tribes,” he continued. “With little specific expectations in mind, my team and I decided to go on an adventure with no pre-defined goals, ready for whatever interesting tales we may stumble upon.”

With intimate portraits and unscripted shots, Nthiga captures the daily life of fishermen entering the lake or children spending time with their families. An array of feelings, from joy to intense focus, is exposed in the series that tells an intricate story about living in an area gravely influenced by climate change.

Nthiga’s stunning project, Walks of Life, was brought to life with the assistance of photography assistant Joseph Theo, producer Nina Bola and creative director Jason Bruckner. You can see his breathtaking photos from March 3 to 19 at The Nook in his hometown -Nanyuki. He is also presently focusing on an environmentally-centered movie featuring a Turkana fashion stylist, so make sure you stay updated by checking out his Instagram and Behance accounts.

a person standing in front of a building