A Samburu wedding

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The artwork

Photographie numérique
Wamba, Samburu County, Kenya

The Samburu are an East African people living in central Kenya, mainly in the Samburu district. Their society is based on a system of generational promotions and age status. There, marriage is therefore a decisive stage codified by numerous elaborate rituals. These include the Samburu dance, which is part of a social ritual that is hundreds of years old. It serves to bind and enrich the community: during the dance, the Samburu pass on stories of heroism and history, and also flirt with the opposite sex. At larger, more formal gatherings such as weddings, dozens or even hundreds of Samburu tribesmen of all ages participate and the festivities can last for hours.

The artist

After several experiences in editorial offices, at Vanity Fair, Arte or Figaro Magazine, Maïlys Derville set up her own business in 2018 as a freelance journalist. It was also that year that she crossed paths with Corinne Vachon, a French photographer who has been documenting the lives of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples for over ten years. Together, they went to Kenya, Afghanistan, Romania and Kyrgyzstan, each time with the aim of putting into perspective the history of men and women still living mostly in tradition. But if some of them try hard to perpetuate it, others open up little by little to the rest of the world and to the evolution… Photography appears then as one of the best means to testify and leave a trace. During these immersions, Maïlys develops a real love for the image, alongside her mentor, Corinne. At the crossroads between the artistic and the documentary, her photographic work has only one ambition: to capture the emotion of a scene and the essence of its subjects.

Our savoir-faire

Our savoir-faire

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