I am a photography student living in brighton, England. I like to watch people because I am intrigued by the inescapable sense of uniquity that everyone possesses. I watch people because these are the people I never have been, and most likely, never will become.
These are simply the people I see, but will never be.
Rubén Roman was born in Resistencia, Argentina in 1961. He's a master in karate, sport to which he devoted 16 years of his life. Although he has a degee in Geophysics from La Plata University, he decided to become a full-time photographer in 1988.
This project captures the duality of religious ideology of the native people. They were introduced to Christianity by the conquistadors, and forbidden to celebrate pagan rituals, songs, and festivals. This situation continued until 30 years ago when native beliefs experienced a revival. Nowadays many people believe in god, and practise traditional rituals at the same time.
These photographs were taken between the years 2001 and 2002 in the provinces of Jumps and Jujuy
These photos were taken in the refugee camps of the DARS (Democratic Arabic Republic of Sahara) and in the Polisario controlled part of Western Sahara.
In 1992 I started to work part time for a little german based NGO as a trainer in engine rebuilding in the refugee camps in south-west Algeria. Each year for about 1-3 month we trained saharian mechanics in repairing cars and trucks.
The Western Sahara conflict started in 1975 when the former colonial power Spain left their at that time called "Spanish Sahara". Offically giving the country their indepence, the spanish post Franco Government secretly signed a contract with Morrocco, giving the morroccan King Hassan II "carte blanche" to occupy the former colony.It is in fact, the last colonial war in africa.
In 1975 the Frente Polisario, formed to fight colonial Spain, started a guerillia war against Morrocco to free their Country.
Morrocco answered with some hundred thousand troops, creating a strong, suppressive regime in the occupied area. About 150.000 Saharauis (half of the population) fled to neighbouring Algeria,
were they went into four refugee camps, named after citys in their homeland.
Since 1975 these refugees have lived in harsh conditions in the algerian desert, depending totally on food supplies from the UNHCR and european ECHO.
Morrocco got strong economic and military support from France and the US needed to hold out a war that cost about $ 2m per day.
In 1991 the UN arranged a cease-fire between the partys, giving way to hold a referendum. Due to Morrocco's good political connections with the US and the European Countries, former King Hassan II was able to postpone any developement. Rich mineral, and offshore oil deposits in Western Sahara and the absence of international media coverage of the conflict didn't help either.
The death of King Hassan II in July 1999 raised great hope to finally end the conflict, but new King Mohammed V failed to meet worldwide expectations.