Escape from Somalia
May 10, 2010 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Thousands of people flee Somalia every year in rusty fishing boats. Here's a photo essay of one of those journeys. By the always-excellent Ed Ou.
posted by awenner (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ed's been on the blue before: Under a Nuclear Cloud.
posted by awenner at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2010


It's like a real life Mad Max beyond thunderdome. I can almost hear that music from the score, from when the kids were living in that oasis.
posted by cashman at 10:59 AM on May 10, 2010


Thanks for posting this, it looks like a fascinating piece. I haven’t been able to complete it yet because the interface is a little too much for my work machine, I’ll check it out at home.

For a little less intense of a photo essay about the East African diaspora, Abdi Roble’s book is nice.

I’m always saddened by the way the major media outlets treat the situation in Somalia: namely, they ignore it until there is a pirate attack or Al Shebab threatens someone.
posted by Think_Long at 11:04 AM on May 10, 2010


Guy needs to adjust his ISO settings. Grainy > Blurry.
posted by delmoi at 11:10 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Evidently Shebab is Arabic for "youth" or "adolescent"?
posted by XMLicious at 11:18 AM on May 10, 2010


Evidently Shebab is Arabic for "youth" or "adolescent"?

Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen ("Movement of Warrior Youth"), more commonly known as al-Shabaab (Arabic: الشباب‎, "The Youth") is an Islamist insurgency group in the ongoing war in Somalia.
posted by Think_Long at 11:37 AM on May 10, 2010


Evidently Shebab is Arabic for "youth" or "adolescent"?

Al Shebab is the fundamentalist Muslim militia that currently controls most of southern Somalia.
posted by Tsuga at 11:37 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


or what Think_Long said...
posted by Tsuga at 11:40 AM on May 10, 2010


Guy needs to adjust his ISO settings. Grainy > Blurry.

I'm just guessing, but the blur could be a conscious choice. It illustrates the desperation and movement, and has the added benefit of making the subjects a bit more difficult to identify. Probably an advantage if you get arrested and then interrogated for five days like the photographer was (before being deported). I see plenty of sharp pictures in that set, but they tend not to be close-ups of people...
posted by The Mouthchew at 12:07 PM on May 10, 2010


For anyone else who wondered where the rest of the photos were - if you put your mouse over the grey area under the horizontal grey bar, the rest of the photos will appear for scrolling. I am usually pretty good at mystery meat, but this was mystery-empty-plate...

Good story-telling though. Thank you.
posted by whatzit at 12:30 PM on May 10, 2010


god what an awful interface
posted by H. Roark at 12:40 PM on May 10, 2010


What is it with photographers and shitty, awkward Flash interfaces?
posted by xedrik at 1:52 PM on May 10, 2010


What is it with photographers and shitty, awkward Flash interfaces?

They're stealing web designers from restaurants. Scroll down, you'll find salads.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:29 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


While it took me a few moments to figure out where the other pictures are, I am very glad that I did.
posted by virga at 9:35 PM on May 10, 2010


But, but, but... it's a Libertarian anarchocapitalist paradise! Yes, really!

(No wonder why they get mocked for it.)
posted by markkraft at 7:18 PM on May 11, 2010


You think its bad for them on boats? There are pilots in Kenya who will fly up with large deliveries of khat, drop them in Somalia, and then fly back with people who have paid to jump out of the plane once he crosses the border back into Kenya.

Without parachutes.

Its too dangerous for the pilots to risk landing at an airstrip where they have the potential of getting caught smuggling illegal immigrants, so instead they will drop their planes down to about 25-30 feet above ground, going as slow as they possibly can without stalling, and the people will jump out. They typically do this in swampy areas near the coast so there's a better chance of surviving the jump. The pilots can make a few thousand USD per person in many cases. The jumpers don't always survive or are sometimes horribly injured.

That's how bad Somalis want out of Somalia.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:20 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's how bad Somalis want out of Stomalia

My goodness, that's some desparation right there. Have you got any more info or sources about that?
posted by Philby at 3:46 PM on May 12, 2010


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