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Project April 17, 2012

Milk and Blood: The Making of South Sudan


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Last July South Sudan became the world's youngest country. It was a remarkable victory for a dogged rebel group that had fought one of the longest, bloodiest wars in recent times. South Sudanese streets erupted as locals celebrated. Foreigners were also celebrating: activists, diplomats, aid workers, consultants, private contractors–these are the nation-builders of the West.

But to many living in South Sudan, peace feels a lot like war. South Sudan looks like a nation on the map, but in reality is a land with no uniting identity, poor leadership, rampant corruption and violent divisions. It's also at war with its new neighbor to the north.

Photographer and reporter Trevor Snapp and journalist Alan Boswell have been reporting on the paradoxes and contradictions of South Sudan for the last three years. Beyond the headlines you may have read, there is another story, more complex and significant than we imagined when we first starting reporting there.

Over the next several months we will be reporting from South Sudan while simultaneously launching an innovative digital book for the iPad chronicling the birth of South Sudan and exploring whether the West's intervention to stop Sudan's last civil war produced resolution–or just more, endless, conflicts.

The iPad book will weave together both textual and visual narratives in a seamless experience in which the story defines the medium. We are publishing the book in stages. We intend to release the first part of the book in July and the final book in October. You will be able to follow our progress on this website, on a soon-to-be-launched book website, and on our Emphasis crowd-funding page.