/ 2021 / Portraiture / Culture

Turkana Life

  • Prize
    Gold in Portraiture/Culture
  • Photographer
    Shyamala Thilagaratnam
  • Credit
    Shyamala Thilagaratnam

Daily life in remote Turkana was finely choreographed–women collected water, expertly balancing containers, their younger sisters following suit; others in-charge of the charcoal supply. They multitasked, collecting water from freshly dug wells & fed the goats, often with babies on their backs. The men & older boys looked after the precious livestock, herding them to waterholes across dusty plains. Others fished on Lake Turkana. The children were full of joy, whether in the single classroom of the local school, fishing at the lake or imitating dad as he herded donkeys in the setting sun.

Shyamala is a doctor specialising in Public Health at the Health Promotion Board in Singapore. Photography has been a passion since she received her first camera - a gift from an uncle - when she was 14. She enjoys all genres of photography, but particularly enjoys telling stories using images - and continually learning new techniques to support this. Photography and the day job keep her happy in equal measure.

Awards IPA (1st in categories, Honourable Mention), BIFA (Silver, Honourable Mention), TIFA (Silver, Bronze, Honourable Mention), APA (Honourable Mentions), MPA Far East (Merit Awards), RISE International Photography Awards (Bronze Awards).