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Dan Eldon: The Art of Life
by Jennifer New
ISBN 0811829553 / 9780811829557 / 0-8118-2955-3
Publisher Chronicle Books
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The short, intense life of Dan Eldon - a young man who was among the first to document the famine and anarchy in Somalia in the early nineties - was charted in the numerous artistic journals he created and left behind. In 1997, a select sample of the highly graphic, visionary Journal pages was published to wide acclaim as The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon. Dan Eldon: The Art of Life is the narrative of this remarkable man's prolific life. Growing up in Kenya, the son of an American mother and English father, he grew to explore and love Africa. With interludes of study in Los Angeles, London, and Iowa, working at a New York fashion magazine, travelling to Japan, Russia, and Europe, and numerous expeditions throughout Africa, he crafted a philosophy of curiosity, creativity, adventure, and charity. At age nineteen, while leading a group of fourteen young people through sub-Saharan Africa to deliver money they'd raised for a refugee camp, Dan penned his mission statement: "Safari as a Way of Life. To explore the unknown and familiar, distant and near, and to record in detail with the eyes of a child, any beauty (of the flesh or otherwise), horror, irony, traces of Utopia or Hell..." As he developed his artistic and photographic skills, so luminously visible in his extensive journals, he took his unique knowledge of Africa to investigate rumors of famine and war in neighboring Somalia in 1992. What he found there would shape the remainder of his short life; his photographs of the deprivation and conflict there would shortly establish him as a renowned photojournalist. Somalia would also be the last of his many adventures. Dan Eldon: The Art of Life is exhaustively researched and written by Jennifer New, whose extensive interviews with the dozens of people who knew Dan growing up and in Somalia provide the basis of the narrative. Whenever the story can be told in Dan's own voice, the book includes his journal pages, letters, and manifestos. Also p [via]