November 13, 2023
In 2020, a journalist colleague and I managed to get access to these dahalo. This followed long weeks of negotiations involving a descendant of a former king of the Sakalava ethnic group in western Madagascar. People living in the bush, like the dahalo, still have great respect for those representing the spiritual or traditional Malagasy authority of the pre-colonial period (1895-1960), rather than the state authorities.
Consequently, we were able to spend a few days among the dahalo. As they are being actively pursued by the army, they are themselves always armed. They are led by a single chief, and impose their authority by force on the neighbouring villages; their power can extend over dozens of square kilometres of territory. The system can be seen as a kind of mafia. In general, the Malagasy State has no authority over these territories, and the local state representatives often turn a blind eye under the pressures of corruption.”
Read more about his photo project in LFI Magazine 8.2023.
Born in France, the photographer has been taking pictures since 2000. In 2004 he began to work on his Miverina series, which deals with his relationship to Madagascar, and has been the subject of a number of exhibitions worldwide. In 2022, he received a World Press Photo Award in the Africa Long Term Project category for his documentary La Guerre des Zébus. Rijasolo lives and works in Antananarivo. More