when i first went to kenya in august 1955, i could never have guessed what was going to happen. kenya's population was roughly five million, with about 100 tribes scattered throughout the endless "wild—deer—ness" - it was authentic, unspoiled, teeming with big game—so enormous it appeared inexhaustible.the pleistocene is paved over, cannibalism is swallowed up by commercialism, arrows become ak- 47s, colonialism is replaced by the power, the prestige and the corruption of the international aid industry. this is the end of the game over and over.
everyone agreed it was too big to be destroyed. now kenya's population of over 30 million drains the country's limited and diminishing resources at an amazing rate: surrounding, isolating, and relentlessly pressuring the last pockets of wildlife in denatured africa.
the beautiful play period has come to an end. millions of years of evolutionary processes have been destroyed in the blink of an eye.
what could possibly be next? density and stress—aid and AIDS, deep blue computers and nintendo robots, heart disease and cancer, liposuction and rhinoplasty, digital pets and tamaguchi toys deliver us into the brave new world.
peter beard uses photography, ink, and blood to create his images. his end of the game books of photography are volumes that i would very much like to get my hands on.
often people are too casually optimistic about the future of the world we are lucky enough to have happened on. i see beard's work as harsh realism, a fatalistic slap in the face—one that i think everyone should pay attention to, because he shows only a fraction of the damage humans have caused and continue to wreak. why aren't we more concerned about the well-being of the planet our lives depend on?
my optimism is wearing quite thin these days.