Photo essay on the mentally ill in Africa

From Time‘s Lightbox newsletter: Photojournalist Robin Hammond has won the W. Eugene Smith award for his work on the mentally ill of subSaharan Africa.

“Where there is war, famine, displacement, it is always the most vulnerable who suffer the greatest” says Hammond. The mentally ill, he notes, are a “voiceless minority condemned to lives of quiet misery.”

Based in South Africa, Hammond traveled for two years to regions of severe crisis — eastern Congo, Mogadishu, northern Uganda, Liberia and South Sudan — photographing in stark detail the barbaric conditions endured by tens of thousands of Africa’s mentally ill. Broken, largely forgotten, the mentally ill suffer abominable degradations, literally chained and caged throughout their days.

Hammond will use the $30,000 grant to finish the project…. A book of the winning work, titled Condemned, is now available through FotoEvidence.

Read more.

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