Dan Eldon 1970-1993
Dan Eldon was born in London on September 18, 1970. When Dan was seven years old, he and his three-year-old sister Amy moved to Nairobi, Kenya with their parents, Kathy and Mike Eldon. In Kenya, Dan attended a British school, but then convinced his parents to transfer him to the International School in Kenya, attended by students representing 42 nationalities.
In 1982, Dan narrowly missed being caught up in the coup in Kenya, but he was around to experience the aftermath of that political upheaval. Early on, he joined his journalist mother on her assignments, and soon was taking pictures, which were used in the local newspapers.
Dan started helping others from a young age. When he was 14, he started a fundraising campaign for open-heart surgery to save the life of a young Kenyan girl.
Dan graduated from the International School of Kenya in 1988, winning the International Relations and Community Service awards, as well as being voted most outstanding student by his classmates. He addressed his class, emphasizing the importance of crossing cultural barriers and caring for others.
Throughout his life, Dan was fortunate in being able to travel extensively, and had visited 46 countries by the time of his death.
A few years later, Dan organized Student Transport Aid with friends, who raised $17,000 to benefit survivors of the civil war in Malawi. The friends, representing six countries, met in Nairobi and traveled thousands of miles together in three vehicles to their destination, a refugee camp in Malawi. There, they donated one of their vehicles to the Save the Children Fund, as well as money for three wells, and blankets for a children’s hospital.
During the summer of 1992, the famine in Somalia was raging. Dan flew from Kenya to the southern Somali town of Baidoa, where he shot some of his first pictures to touch the conscience of millions. The international news agency, Reuters, spotted his work, and by Christmas, Dan was working for the company, shooting the increasingly desperate situation.
Throughout the spring of 1993, Dan stayed in Mogadishu, both horrified and fascinated by the violence and tragedy he recorded. During this time, Dan’s pictures were featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. On June 12, 1993, his photo made a double-page spread in Newsweek magazine, as well as the covers on papers everywhere. At 22, Dan Eldon’s safari came to a sudden end. However, he left behind seventeen black-bound journals filled with drawings, writings and photographs…vivid collages that chronicle a child’s journey into manhood and a lifelong struggle with the forces of good and evil.
While Dan’s photos are works of journalism, his journals are works of art…a celebration of adventure and a testament of desire to live life to its fullest. Now, through his art, the film The Journey is the Destination, sense of adventure and creative activism, his journey continues.