The image of Kenya tends to be one of nomadic tribes dressed in red and adorned with beads, but the reality is much different. More than a quarter of Kenya’s population today live in cities and, while the country has forty two tribes, the majority of people belong to just five. Furthermore a staggering 75% of the country’s population is under the age of thirty, making it one of the youngest country’s in the world.
Demographica is an ongoing project that blends photography and demography to create a typology of 100 portraits that does its best to statistically represent the makeup of a country’s population. The aim of Demographica is to paint a true representation of a country, dispelling the various misconceptions and stereotypes people may have, and revealing the actual diversity of the many different people who make up any one population.
Born in Botswana to English and American parents, Tobin Jones has spent the majority of his life living on the African continent in Botswana, Malawi, Kenya and Somalia. Tobin has worked extensively throughout East and the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia, where for six years he documented the country’s struggle with Islamic extremism, its emergence from over twenty five years of civil war, and its gradual rebuilding.
Tobin aims to use his photography to capture stories on the continent that might otherwise be overlooked. His photo essays have covered transgender issues in Kenya, homemade prosthetics in Somalia, traditional healing in slums and the demographic makeup of Kenya. Tobin is a Co-Founder of Nonaligned, where he works with a collective of storytellers working on socially relevant, visually beautifully crafted stories for digital consumption.
Tobin Jones’ work has appeared in multiple publications including The New York Times, The BBC, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also worked for multiple international organizations and NGO’s throughout the region, including UNHCR, WFP, the Danish Refugee Council, and USAID. His past photography awards include the Marty Forscher Fellowship Award, Echo Foundation Grand Prize Winner, Pride Photo Competition, and the Juror’s Choice Award in Visual Storytelling by LensCulture.
Tobin holds a bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies with minors in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster in London, England.