South Sudan: strength in fragility

by Luca Catalano Gonzaga

A fracture in the fracture rooted in British colonization in Central Africa. It is the story of South Sudan that, after declaring independence in 2011, is now facing an armed conflict that began on December 15, 2013, which over the years has not stopped getting worse. The figures speak of a situation out of control in a State that has literally failed: 1 million 792,000 refugees across borders , 2 million displaced in the country, over 5 million people affected by the food crisis out of a population of 12 million, about 50,000 civilians and military dead in the clashes. It feels like an enormous swamp impossible to get out of because none of the factions wants to reach a compromise with the opponent. Thus, the ethnic and political rivalry between the current President Salva Kiir Mayardit (belonging to the Dinka) and his former deputy Riek Machar (of the ethnicity Nuer) – who does not recognize his legitimacy – holds an entire population hostage, condemning it to absolute misery.

The photographer Luca Catalano Gonzaga, focuses on the current crisis that pervades South Sudan, with the project “South Sudan: strength in fragility”, where his attention is on the weakest people of all: those who have physical and mental disabilities and who can not leave their villages, because they are located in critical areas. The Organisation Light for the World operates in these areas, as part of the humanitarian response funded by the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation. The Foundation, in light of the complexity and breadth of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, has developed a 2 million Euros support plan that involves 8 non-governmental organisations and UN agencies present in the country: https://www.perettifoundations.org/en/page.php?project=0&page=11

A selection of these photographs will be on display in early 2018 in Barcelona in an exhibit funded by the Delegation of the Foundation in Catalonia. (Text by Sebastiano Caputo).