Lalibela Series

PhotographerTariq Zaidi
Prize3rd Place in Editorial / Other_ED
Entry Description

They come from all over, walking for days, often barefoot, to this holy place of ancient ritual and devotion. But this isn’t Jerusalem, or Mecca, it’s Lalibela in Ethiopia, site of 13 intricate monolithic churches, handchiselled out of the town’s red volcanic rock nearly 900 years ago. Tariq Zaidi travelled to Lalibela, an otherwise nondescript village in the mountains of northern Ethiopia, to document these extraordinary churches and the pilgrims who flock to them. In Ethiopia, where nearly two-thirds of the population is Christian, Lalibela is almost as important as Jerusalem. One of the first places in the world to become a UNESCO heritage site, and indeed one of the wonders of the world.

About Photographer

Tariq Zaidi (a self taught photographer) has become one of those success stories one occasionally reads about. In Jan 2014, he gave up a senior corporate position, to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s most respected travel portrait photographers with the aim of capturing the dignity, purity and soul of people, within their environment. Over 90 of his images have already won several major international photography awards. Tariq has held numerous exhibitions and published two books. He has successfully completed commissions in Sierra Leone, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, Uganda, UAE, Japan and recently in the remote Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra, Indonesia. He is also a Getty Image contributor and has taught courses on Photojournalism and Digital Photography, at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and other photographic institutions in the UK. In search of truly unique images, Tariq continues to travel around the world. He is also working on his 3rd publication The White Building, Living in the Shadow of Modern Phnom Penh. The book forms part of an ongoing personal project to develop a visual anthology capturing the dignity of mankind in some of the poorest communities in the world. Tariq can be contacted through his website, his Facebook page TariqZaidiPhotography or twitter @tariqzaidiphoto.