Dale Rio

Photographer
The Black Mambas APU
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Nationality: American
Biography: I am a photographer who has been shooting and printing my own work for nearly thirty years.  I received an MFA in photography from Pratt Institiute in 1996 and a Fulbright Travel Grant and the Miguel Vinciguerra Grant in 1997.  Since... read on
Public Story
The Black Mambas APU
Credits: dale rio
Date of Work: 11/13/19 - 11/20/19
Updated: 12/04/19
In November, I traveled to South Africa to create portraits of members of the Black Mambas all-female anti-poaching unit.  These young women are as beautiful and rugged as the environment in which they live. Through their work as anti-poaching rangers, they not only work to prevent the extinction of endangered wildlife, but strengthen local communities through outreach and educational programming.  In the interviews I conducted with the Mambas, virtually all discussed how difficult their training was, but that they were stronger for it; being anti-poaching rangers has given them the confidence to do anything they put their minds to.  They have also proven that women can do a job once thought to be under the sole purvue of men.  Not only that, but they feel that being female allows them an increased level of empathy for the animals they work to protect.

In addition to creating portraits, I was able to join the Mambas on patrol and at their Bush Babies educational program.  The photographs in this story will introduce you to the Black Mambas and provide a glimpse into the lives of these women, who are doing the important, difficult, and often dangerous work of wildlife conservation.
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By Dale Rio —

VISUAL STORY

Reconciliation

By Dale Rio — These images represent my experiments with pinhole photography.  Some are part of a "Work-a-day..
VISUAL STORY

In Absentia

By Dale Rio — This body of work features places that once buzzed with life but are now devoid of humanity.  Places..
VISUAL STORY

Maasai Olympics

By Dale Rio — In December 2018, I traveled to Kenya to create portraits of the participants in the 4th biennial Maasai..
VISUAL STORY

Terry Collection

By Dale Rio — The Terry Collection is a world-renowned forensic anthropology collection housed at the Smithsonian..
VISUAL STORY

Forgotten 66

By Dale Rio — Historic Route 66 exemplifies the interconnectedness of history, emotion, and humanity‚Äôs complicated..
VISUAL STORY

Band Archive

By Dale Rio — From the 1990s through the early 2000s, I photographed a lot of bands in New York and elsewhere.  I was..
VISUAL STORY

Mt. Moriah Cemetery

By Dale Rio — Mt. Moriah is a cemetery in Philadelphia that was created in the 1800s as an alternative to the crowded and..
VISUAL STORY

Portraits

By Dale Rio — This portfolio contains portraits that I've made over the past fifteen years or so.  The photos..
VISUAL STORY

Superfund

By Dale Rio — Superfund sites are those deemed contaminated or polluted by the Environmental Protection Agency, which then..
VISUAL STORY

One Nation, Oblivious

By Dale Rio — A few years ago, I was struck by the number of people who nearly walked into me because they were so..
VISUAL STORY

The Borscht Belt

By Dale Rio — I have always been fascinated by abandoned places, particularly those that were of great importance in their..
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