Nicola Lo Calzo, Comeback to Kalahari, from PRIVATE 51 – Global Report 2, pp. 54-57[C]omeback to Kalahari is a return to origins: an invitation to rediscover a world geographically remote, but in which man is deeply bound by the thread of the story. This project is the photographic story of the Bushmen of the Kalahari, one of the most ancient indigenous peoples in the world, the last descendants of the mitochondrial Eve, regarded as the most remote ancestor of humanity.
“Comeback to Kalahari” fits naturally into the artistic process of Nicola Lo Calzo, who has made Africa his main area of photographic research. In collaboration with SASI (The South African San Institute), the photographer met Khomani and Kwé Bushman communities inhabiting the Northern Cape in South Africa. “Comeback to Kalahari” looks at this community, who, nowadays, inhabits the vast and hostile stretches land in the Kalahari desert : unemployment, illiteracy, isolation and high cost of living jeopardize the preservation of its identity. The Bushmen lay claim to their traditions, equally claiming the right to inclusion in a free and democratic society. The photographer shows us this global frontier, where the sense of isolation and marginalization shape the texture of every day, with little promise of change. Architectural images and lonely landscapes, the last bastions of an ancient culture, contextualize the direct gaze of the portraits whose subjects are all fully aware of being photographed.