In an excerpt from the TIME article, Tepleski describes the challenges he had with the project:
Portraying something as emotionally distant as disenfranchisement, however, presented problems. “There was no action,” says Tepleski. “There was in fact an absence that needed to be photographed—the silence of their voices and the removal of an environment that they were linked to for centuries.” Tepleski hit upon using the sacred river—a spiritually significant place, dotted with shrines, and their main source of water—as surreal back drop for portraits of the villagers. “While I was living with the community, I came to see the river as a character in their lives,” says Tepleski. “They had built a relationship with this place. And it was about to be broken. I wanted to remove the environment from the subjects, and the subjects from the environment.”
Tepleski will return this summer to Ghana, through the non-profit Friends of Bui, to the new relocated destination of the displaced Bui community.