Undoubtedly, there is a fundamental human urge to survive. Often that involves changing places. So, I wondered: Is there a parallel world to the human-centric world we have created, where migration takes place as a matter of course? Does that primeval urge residing in wild minds help us to see the complex human motivation to move in a different way?
I have known the land called Mara for a long period of time, during which I have grown to love it and to feel for its wild animals. Here, wild animals routinely migrate in search of water and food. First—influenced by Cartier-Bresson and Avedon—I simply set down in photographs what I felt about this movement. Using a close, intimate point of view, as well as a consistent format, I waited and waited for the key moments. Then, I determined to frame my response as a visual series, hoping to show motion in survival.
This risky body of work, which took heavy investment and three years of commitment to get it right, is a visual attempt at migration in a wild habitat inviting us to reexamine, even revise, our own urges to move to pastures anew.
The son of Indian parents, Anup Shah was born in Kenya, East Africa. Growing up, one of Anup’s favorite activities was visiting the nearby Nairobi National Park, where he spent many hours watching wild animals roaming in their natural environments. This experience became the foundation for a career in wildlife photography.
After higher education in England and several university degrees, Anup returned to Kenya and developed his interested in photography. In 2001, Anup received a call from National Geographic that most photographers dream of. It was his first assignment for the magazine, which was later followed by seven more assignments and the publication of three photo-driven books for New York art publisher, Abrams.
Anup has been featured in The World’s Top Photographers: Wildlife book (Rotovision 2004) and in Hörzu magazine as one of the five best wildlife photographers in the world. He is also one of 10 ‘Masters’ featured in the book, Masters of Nature Photography (Natural History Museum September 2013).
In the past, Anup has had solo exhibitions at venues including Visa Pour L’Image and group exhibitions at The Natural History Museum, London. More recently, in 2016, Anup had solo exhibitions at the Umbria World Festival in Italy and the Konica-Minolta Gallery in Tokyo.
His recent book, The Mara, was published by The Natural History Museum (2016) and offers an intimate, atmospheric record of the ebb and flow of daily life in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.