A herd of females elephants passes the track infront of our jeep at Wasgamuwa National Park. Central North Sri Lanka. This group is called ‘Lornas’ and includes the oldest female, “kalumanike” who is 50 years old. This group of Elephants largely stay within the National Park areas.
A gun owner in the area of Sigiriya. Despite being strictly illegal, many Sri Lankans have ‘Galkatas’ ie homemade guns. Guns such as this are used for defence against elephants. This owner lives in an area without electric fencing and has children and grain to protect. Like a shotgun they fire out several metal balls. The impact itslef is usually never fatal but the wounds can lead to infection and a slow painful death for the elephant. Many wild elephants have gunshot scars.
Charith Vihanga, 22 years old and his sister, Warsha Nethmini (both surnamed Munamalpe Liyanage), 15 years old. In 2022 they lost their father who was killed by an elephant just outside their family home. The father, Nimal Sumana Seana, 43 years old), was up early for work at around 5:30am. When he saw the elephant besides a tree outside his house, it was too late and he couldn’t outrun it. He was trampled just yards from his home. The son and his siblings are now ophans as their mother died from an illness previously. Kimbissa village, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.
A female adult Elephant of approx 30-35 years of age, comes through out of a forest into a clearing. However most of the issues in human elephant conflict arise from male ‘bull’ elephants. They are usually solitary and roam large areas. Wasgamuwa National Park. Central North Sri Lanka.
Two brothers, Mr C G Subosinghe (born 1965) and Mr C G Ekonoyahe (Born 1950) The younger brother (on right hand side), Mr Subosinghe was charged and hit by a male Elephant just outside his village of Iriyagasulpotha, Central North Sri Lanka in 2022. He fractured his leg and ankle in the attack and several months later is still walking with crutches. He counts himself lucky as the Elephant did not trample him while lying injured. However it presents a problem as he can no longer ride a motorbike or run if he was to encounter another Elephant. He grows several crops including bannana, peppers and coconut. He lives in a small village with 7 other families protected by a simple electric fence which offers some protection.
I’m excited to have my photo series on Human Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka nominated as a finalist in this year’s AOP AWARDS 2023 - documentary category. The winner will be announced at the end of the summer - just happy to be included!
To give some context and background for the story; The death toll, both human and elephant, from Sri Lanka’s long-running human-elephant conflict problem hit a record high in 2022, with 145 people and 433 elephants killed. The rising number of deaths is largely due to shrinking elephant habitats and the blocking of elephant corridors. Photography was made in Central North Sri Lanka where the situation is most severe. With many thanks to the excellent Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society for helping show me around. The work was made earlier this year.
The full gallery can be seen here: www.jonbrowning.co.uk/hec
Above are my five submitted images for the AOP Awards documentary category.
Another self-initiated photo series made earlier in the year has been published as a cover feature in Switzerland’s weekend magazine, NZZ ( Neue Zürcher Zeitung) It was a scene I stumbled on and thought it would make a visual story on the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s economic turmoil. Everyday, a stretch of beach is worked on by crews of anchovy fisherman. Gruelling physical work in full sun, yet their hard labour is not enough to feed their family due to inflation, consequently they often have to miss meals. A full text was made by Skandha Gunasekara.
FULL PHOTO ESSAY HERE: https://www.jonbrowning.co.uk/anchovies
NZZ FEATURE HERE: https://magazin.nzz.ch/nzz-am-sonntag/nzz-am-sonntag-magazin/wenn-den-fischern-von-negombo-nur-eine-mahlzeit-im-tag-bleibt-ld.1739437
I did a slightly glossy portrait last week of Opera Soprano singer, Danielle De Niese at her home in Glyndebourne - Amazing house! It was great to see my portraits published on the cover of Times2 today. I dont often get asked to do these more glossy portraits so it made a nice change. Easy when the subjects are used to the camera and have an endless range of poses.
Earlier this year I made a self-assigned trip to Sri Lanka to do some photography on subjects that interest me. I am really happy to have one of the stories I made featured in The Guardian today. A whole photo essay and in black and white - my first monochrome series in about 15 years! I looked at the Manta ray gill plate trade - used in China for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Sadly, Sri Lanka is one of the biggest killers of these super intelligent creatures. I visited the main fishing port of Sri Lanka, Negombo at night time when fishing fleets return home and offload their catches. The excellent text was later made by Zinara Rathnayake with the contact details I gathered on my visits there.
The full gallery of work
The Guardian feature
Edit: 8th May 2023.
Chuffed to have the images reproduced in HET FINANCIEELE DAGBLAD , Hollands’ ‘Financial Times’ today. I have added the dps tearsheet in the gallery below.
Last month I was commissioned by the ICAEW to make a portrait of member, Abigail Hitchens in London for a profile piece for their social media channels and website.
We booked the rooftop ‘terrace’ and fortunately the rain held off! Amazing views of St Pauls.
You can see the piece here: https://www.icaew.com/insights/student-insights/whats-it-like-to-change-career-to-accountancy?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=insights+