South Sudan: Birth of a Nation / Zed Nelson
Every South Sudanese knows that the new state, the least developed country on earth, faces immense challenges. Many political bosses are former rebel fighters who lived through a lifetime of war. The long-suffering population are mainly poor, uneducated, and living in conditions described by the UN as ‘the least developed place on earth’. The country has oil reserves promising vast revenues which could kick-start development, but 20 billion dollars in oil revenue is already unaccounted for. The capital has grown from little more than a village to a booming city over the past few years. Deals are being made in South Sudan’s new, inexperienced ministries, and the future of South Sudan is up for grabs.
Zed Nelson’s acutely observed environmental portraits reveal the new power structures of the country’s inexperienced ruling elite, and the adventurers, businessmen and aid workers who have descended ion this fledgling nation. Capturing an unsettling mix of optimism and brooding menace, we can look at those who help create and exploit a brand new country. Newly appointed government ministers, diplomats, UN chiefs, World Bank representatives, Chinese entrepreneurs, national beauty queens…everyone contributing to and feeding off the birth of this fledgling nation.