Koglweogo. Defenders of Nature. Traditional Self-Defence Forces of Burkina Faso

Shortlist 2018

Antonio Aragon Renuncio

"I have always loved photography and tell stories." Antonio Aragon Renuncio has been teaching photography for +17 years in several universities. Founds/Chairs Nostromo Photographers Association (Spain). Editor in Xplorer Magazine (Nicaragua). CEO Xtreme PhotoWS (Burkina Faso). Writes about Photo and publishes reportages across digital/print international media. Founds and presides the NGO OASIS. He has participated in more than 100 exhibitions around the world and won +100 prizes from: UNICEF, LBS, HIPA, Xposure, Direct Look, POYLatam, UNESCO, EPOTY, LifePressPhoto, PhotoVisa, SIPA, PX3...
The Conflict
2018

Koglweogo. Defenders of Nature. Traditional Self-Defence Forces of Burkina Faso

About two decades ago in Burkina Faso lack of state security, corruption of law enforcement and rampant graft among the judiciary have led to the emergence of armed self-defence groups created mainly to fight robbers, thieves and armed assailants. These militias, popularly known in the Mossi language as "Koglweogo" (which translates to something like "Defenders of Nature"), have stepped in for law and occupy the territory where police and military forces are absent within a completely corrupt system. The Koglweogo bring traditional uniforms, antiquated weapons, unorthodox methods of interrogation, lashes, chains, machetes... extreme punishment. The 40 soldiers of the Koglweogo in Goudrin who watch over and care for more than 53,000 inhabitants of this slum outside Ouagadougou are very clear: "Those who do not like the Koglweogo are just thieves".