Sunday, September 26, 2010

Man, Beard, Jacket, Church, MACODEF, Rural Kenya, March, 2007

When we first arrive to the area, nobody is standing around. A few men with tools walk by as part of an environmental group organized by the foundation. The sun is still high and we decide to spend some time in the pastor's home until people start to come by. They have been told of our planned photographic visit in advance.

We sit inside the home, being watched by the children intently. Spoken word is unnecessary, expressions are the norm. The children express to me the desire to go outside. There, they carry on with their games and are content with the new audience. The girls take up the game as well and play with the boys. The game consists of a small bag that is a substitute for a ball. They try to keep it away from each other, in a game of tag.

An hour or so later, people start to line up. We are provided with a table and a bench. The representative from the foundation takes a seat behind the table and begins to write names down. All is so organized. The women are allowed to be photographed first, with some resistance from a few men, very little resistance though in comparison to the other countries visited by me in the past and since then as well.

The line extends perhaps fifteen meters at first. Each person takes their place in front of the camera and give me a minute of their time, then move on to tell the representative their name. We use a local church as the backdrop, the wall is pure white. We photograph the women first, then the girls and then the men and boys.

The man above walks up with a wonderful jacket. We make a few portraits and then decide to make some changes, his styling is just wonderful. We make more portraits and then he walks away back to his village.

As we finish our work, a wedding commences inside; song and celebration can be hear clearly since windows are lacking. The thought of documenting the event crosses my mind, then fades away along with the sounds of the singing as we walk away in peace.