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Red Soil: Colonial Legacy in Maasai Land | Kenya


By Rasha Al Jundi

Published April 2023


This is a story that spans generations.

About the man in a redshuka, and the woman with a beaded necklace.

Indigenous peoples, once mighty, controlling territories that spanned borders.

A tribe, rich with traditions, culture, knowledge and history.

Uprooted, fragmented and fenced off from their ancestral lands.

A historical injustice with contemporary consequences.

The Maasai, of Laikipia county, live in a state of negative peace.

Colonizers pushed them away from the red soil of the Rift Valley, into confined reserves.

Present day governance trades with their lands and grievances.

Fortress conservation, drought and bouts of conflict surround them. Prejudice mutes their voices.

Peace, without justice, is present. The threat to their way of life is real.

Yet, they are here, holding us witness to their story.

One of perseverance, adaptability and courage.

That of the man in a redshuka and the woman with a beaded necklace.

Rasha Al Jundi

Rasha Al Jundi is a Palestinian visual storyteller who grew up in the UAE. Moving to Lebanon for higher education, she worked with partners to coordinate rural development and environmental programs. An Ian Parry scholar and graduate of the Documentary and Visual Photojournalism program at the International Center for Photography, she attempts to decolonize oversimplified narratives around historical injustices and their contemporary impact on individuals and marginalized groups.

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