Years of conflict have torn at the seams of Juba, South Sudan. But the city’s people hold their heads high.
In South Sudan, street photography is essentially illegal. It is another casualty of the civil war. Young, fit, twitchy soldiers are everywhere, ready to crack down on anyone who pulls out a camera. No reasons are ever given and no laws are on the books specifically banning photography, but security services across the country have arrested photographers and roughed them up for taking even the most innocent pictures, like a shot of women baking bread.
It wasn’t always like this, but in the four years since the war broke out, scattering millions of people and unleashing unspeakable horrors, the South Sudanese government has become incredibly suspicious. In a country that has ripped itself apart by internecine conflict, anyone can be the enemy.
Stepping off a plane in Juba, the capital, you feel this tight-shouldered tension immediately. Sara Hylton, a Canadian documentary photographer who came here on assignment in August, had anticipated the hostility. What surprised her was the city’s bold style.