Anne Ackermann

documentary photographer & photojournalist
Lake Turkana
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Location: Speyer
Nationality: Germany
Biography: Anne Ackermann is a documentary photographer based in Germany working worldwide. Her work often focuses on women’s and contemporary issues, touching themes ranging from migration and aftermath to skin bleaching and plastic surgery, from... MORE
Public Story
Lake Turkana
Copyright Anne Ackermann 2022
Date of Work Jun 2016 - Jun 2018
Updated Dec 2018
Location lake turkana
Topics Africa, Agriculture, Community, Desert, Environment, Human Rights
Lake Turkana at the utmost north of Kenya is most likely the place where mankind started: In the 1970s paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey found here some of the oldest hominids remains; this is why this area is also called “The cradle of mankind”.

Today it is mainly pastoralists and fishermen living here, in this remote piece of land, the government doesn’t really reach here, infrastructure is hardly existent. Eight different tribes share -not always peacefully- the scarce resources amongst each other in a dry and hot chunk of desert land which lies isolated between Kenya and Ethiopia.

The lake, the source of any life in this region, is the world’s largest desert lake. It is entirely fed from river Omo coming from Ethiopia in the North. Its existence is in danger because massive concrete dams with associated hydroelectric power plants and gigantic state-owned plantations with high need for irrigation have been built upstream, a “development” which will eventually lead to Lake Turkana drying out. The consequences for tribes and nature are disastrous: water shortages, crop failures, cattle dying, salted soils, hunger, and rural exodus.

In my images, I aim to capture the beauty of this old and meaningful place and its people. Every progress leads to something else dying. Every gain is someone else’s sacrifice.


shot on assignment for Terra Mater Magazine, 2016
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Lake Turkana by Anne Ackermann
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