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Rainmaker. The rain doesn’t come. Oil on canvas, 46.5 W x 60 H x 0.1 D cm.
This allegorical painting refers to the climate crisis that has already hit large parts of the African continent in the form of severe drought and water scarcity.
Against the background of a dramatic, menacing sky, where dark blue alternates with red and yellow in various tones, an eerie figure moves rapidly on the drought-torn soil. An elephant running along the horizon completes the composition, setting the scene geographically on African land.
The ancient art of rainmaking was once practiced all around the world. In Africa, the rainmakers represented a link between humans and the Divine. They did not rely ex-clusively on their spiritual powers; they were well versed in weather and environmen-tal matters and spent long periods of apprenticeship acquiring their knowledge. How-ever, a rainmaker today would be totally incapable – as if he had no arms to raise to heaven and plead for rain – because the nightmare of climate change is already af-fecting rainfall levels in the Horn of Africa. Human-induced warming has raised the temperature of the western Pacific Ocean, leading to concerning rainfall deficits in eastern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Droughts are becoming more common in the region, whereas the water stress is estimated to affect about 250 million people on the continent and displace up to 700 million individuals by 2030.
Keywords: Africa, rain, drought, water, water crisis, climate change, rainmaker, elephant, dramatic, sky, surreal, blue, red, oil painting