Nuba Condolences For Leni Riefenstahl

We are all saddened to hear of the death of Photographer and Filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl on 8th September 2003. Leni will always be remembered by the Nuba people and also by many people around the world as one of the most important film director of all time. She was the first women photographer from the Western World after George Roger (1949) to visit Nuba Mountains in 1962 where she was well received by the Nuba of Masakin and Kau Nyaro Hills.  She lived among them for almost seven years and she loved them. They too loved her.  Leni was fascinated by the Nuba life style, physiqueness, and Nuba traditions. She took many unique and magnificent pictures of these Nuba, which were later published in her two famous book: “People of Kau and The Last of the Nuba”. These two books of Leni have made Nuba famous as exotic subjects of coffee-table books, which generated great interest for the Nuba among anthropologists, photographers and documentary film-makers from all over the world.  

It is no doubt that the work of Leni and George Rodger, the famous British Photographer had helped to make Nuba known to the outside world and also put the name of the Nuba Mountains on the map. However, these good works had provoked the Sudanese Central Governments, which responded through the years with a campaign of destroying Nuba cultural identity and traditions. During all these years Nuba have been suppressed, marginalized and discriminated. Today, the Nuba political future is at stake, as their issue has been sidelined at the current Sudan’s Peace Talks under the auspices of Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in Kenya 

Many Nuba will remember Lein through her good work on Nuba of Masakin and Kau Nyaro, which they considered it to be as the last historical records of what was once Nuba way of life.  

We in Nuba Survival on behalf of the Nuba people would like to pay our condolences and respect to the family and friends of the late Leni Riefenstahl.  

May her soul rest in Eternal Peace.  

Nuba Survival


10th September 2004