At the base we labored in 107 degree temperatures
but in front of us were snow capped Atlas Mountains
four wheel drive took us until the new road came to an end
the pass 7000 feet above sea level
the rest of the trek was on foot
into the ancient casbah
random parts in disrepair
we drank sweet mint tea seated on a rug with the town “mayor” & extended family
this is the kingdom of the berbers
and eleventh country I’ve photographed for panAFRICAproject
after dark a long slow ride down the back side on treacherous switchback gravel
not for the faint of heart
What do you think of when you think of Africa? Most of the images we have been shown over the years highlight poverty, pestilence and hunger. But is that what Africa really looks like? The above words of Lou Jones speak of a place of beauty, adventure and welcoming people instead. Really, this is the core idea of the panAFRICAproject – to show the world “The Other Africa,” the one made up of hard-working, hospitable people who are making real progress in life while preserving many facets of their long-reaching culture. In the words of the project creators:
“panAFRICAproject has set out to create a contemporary visual portrait of modern Africa devoid of popular preconceived, western ideas.”
And the portraits of people in their everyday environment, taken with a street/documentary style approach, do just that. As Lou Jones affirmed, “Photography is the one true universal language. People can see the world surrounding them without the artifice of interpretation. Although as subjective as any means of communication, photography avoids so much of the political, propaganda, language and obfuscation barriers that hinder other media.”
It’s just one more reason why street photography is more than just a simple art form, it is a tool that can be used to create beauty and in many cases, great change.
For more about the panAFRICAproject, watch the following video and visit the project’s Kickstarter page.
You can also learn about street savvy, “staying on the bus,” and how to be a road warrior with Lou Jones in the December 2016 issue of SPM.