Bazo Morfa with Rural School of Economics - Myvillages
Myvillages with Lumbung Press
Published: Sep 11, 2022
Bazo Morfa tells a story of the challenges that his family and the Hamar tribe face in Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. He comes from the Hamar community, however, he didn’t follow the traditional path of pastoral life, and instead gained education and eventually left as a refugee. He tells about the challenges that are brought by drought, climate change and conflict in the region. All of those add fuel to the local conflict between the traditional customs and demands for change. On the one hand, resistance to change has made Hamar one of the last and most well-known pastoral communities with vibrant local traditions and rituals. On the other hand, according to Bazo, it makes the community inflexible and unable to change in the face of changing circumstances and challenges. Bazo was introduced to us via his Hamar friend Gele Hailu. Gele works as an artist in Rotterdam in the Myvillages studio. The Myvillages co-founder and artist Wapke Feenstra runs that studio and one day invited Bazo through Gele’s smartphone to write about his current concerns in relation to the Hamar. Gele was asked to make drawings to illustrate the text and thereby teach us more about herding cows as that was his daily work as a youngster. I kept the voice of Bazo in the text. The beautiful and peculiar way Bazo writes is a source of a lot of insight, too. He makes sharp observations of Hamar ways of life and current challenges. However, in order to navigate the text better, I added an index and subchapters.
Indra Gleizde for Rural School of Economics by Myvillages