Justin Mott, No Man’s Land

July 18, 2019


This exhibition on view at Anastasia Photo in New York is the first installment of “Kindred Guardians”, Justin Mott’s long-term series documenting people who devote their lives to animal welfare and conserving wildlife.

With no male northern white rhinos left on the planet, “No Man’s Land” is a poignant swan song to the dedicated caretakers of the last two remaining females, Fatu and Najin.

©Justin Mott "Untitled", 2018- Najin (mother) and Fatu (daughter) live in a large gated and protected area where they are free to roam and are looked after 24 hours a day by Ol Pejeta’s caretakers and armed National Police Reservists.

The northern white rhino is a subspecies of white rhino that historically roamed across Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, following widespread poaching and civil war in their home range, they are now considered extinct in the wild.

©Justin Mott "Untitled", 2018- Peter Esegon, 47, one of the primary rhino caretakers relaxes with Najin and Fatu as the sun sets at Ol Pejeta conservancy in Central Kenya.

Conservancy from the Czech Republic’s Dvůr Králové Zoo in hopes that the native habitat for the animals would be conducive to breeding. In the years since their translocation, the rhinos experienced a series of unsuccessful breeding attempts and the devastating deaths of Suni (2014) and Sudan (2018). 

Najin and Fatu reside in 700-acre enclosure with 24-hour armed security. The caretakers who patrol the park encounter the likes of lions and marauding poachers, the latter of which fired on the guardians in 2018 leading to a firefight that left three poachers dead.

©Justin Mott "Untitled", 2018- The shadow of an armed member of the National Police Reservists on Fatu as she grazes in her holding area protected around the clock from poachers.

The future of Najin and Fatu’s species now lies in the development of in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques which have never before been attempted on rhinos. Together with Dvůr Králové and IZW Berlin, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is in a race against time to raise 9 million USD towards their Make A Rhino initiative.

©Justin Mott "Untitled", 2018- Esegon says that Fatu likes to be scratched behind her ears and behind her leg, saying that “it calms her down, and puts her at ease.”

Justin Mott, No Man’s Land

June 6 – September 15, 2019
Anastasia Photo
143 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002


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