Pieter Hugo
Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis and Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria [from the series ›Gadawan Kura‹ (The Hyena Men)], 2005

  • Inkjet-Print
  • 51 x 51 cm
  • Acquired in 2011

The South African photographer Pieter Hugo is particularly interested in people who stand on the edge of society. The ‘Gadawan Kura’ are among these: vagabonds who travel through Nigeria with hyenas, pythons and monkeys and earn their living through performances and selling traditional medicines. The animals are meant to entice potential customers—for Nigerians, the ‘Gadawan Kura’ possess a magical power because they are able to hold the terrifying animals under control. To do this they use herbs and amulets, but also heavy sticks. For the series, The Hyena Men, Hugo accompanied them on their tour for several weeks. He portrays the men, who pose proudly with their animals, unemotionally and statically. This way he gives equal attention to both; both names are also given in the title.

Pieter Hugo

* 1976 Johannesburg, ZA
Lives and works in Cape Town, ZA
Pieter Hugo
Untitled, Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, Ghana, 2010
Pieter Hugo
Portrait #12, as part of the series 1994, Rwanda, 2015
Pieter Hugo
Portrait #30, as part of the series 1994, Rwanda, 2015

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