ARCHIVE 175 – ON A FARM IN WESTERN KENYA (MONO)
September 3, 2015 8 Comments
I love these portraits. The man is at ease with me and my camera, he knows me well, and in his expression we see nothing contrived, just a calm and direct gaze. The little boy is nervous, but is being reassured by the man’s closeness – while the little girl’s radiant smile is a delight.
This smile reminds me powerfully of African children in general! I was often in out of the way areas in Kenya, often far off the well beaten tourist tracks, searching for unusual birdlife. And I can remember entering villages where white people were only infrequently seen – and being beset by a tide of brightly smiling little children like these, chanting “mazungu, mazungu!” – swahili for “white man, white man!”.
And sometimes they were so curious to see me, maybe not having had close contact with a european before, that they came and wondered at the pale hair on my pale arms – and touched my arms and head as if they couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing – it was a real, uninhibited examination!
I like children anyway, I vastly enjoy interacting with them – and especially so when they can talk – and these were simply wonderful and fascinating experiences. And I also want to mention here how friendly Kenyan people were in general, throughout my years there – friendly, hospitable and humorous.
On the negative side of things though, it was on this trip that I first contracted malaria – and that is something truly unpleasant.
OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro.