Sunday, November 25, 2012

Along the Coast, Gambia to Senegal, An Afternoon in February, 2006

After our time in The Gambia and on our way back to Dakar this scene exposed itself along the coast. Our drive back to Dakar was more deliberate in comparison to our ride from Dakar to the interior of The Gambia days beforehand. As we drove north along the coast this quiet village appeared and I asked permission from my two travel companions to stop and make this image.

While most of my work in these two nations comprised of portraiture, making such an image allows me to breathe a little, removed a bit from the hustle of the streets and the need to negotiate always with so many more than just the person desired for the portrait. In this instance we pull over to the right of the road, step outside without another car in sight and set up the tripod slowly while taking in the sounds and smells of the scene. The only movement was attributed to the animals, people were perhaps inside their homes.

We made this image without being questioned, without being pushed along and without being noticed. While I must say that this is pure bliss for me, I know down deep inside that faces will always attract me, that people will always pull me to make their portraits with their kindness, their love and their beauty. Regardless of the heckling of the crowd and the accusations of the neighbors, I will always be attracted to the human face.

I feel however that a balance can be achieved and such images as the one above can provide a moment of solace from which to rise for the stresses of street portraiture. All in all my attraction to the more restricted will always win over, and I will always want to make images of those hiding behind the doors while the rest come running towards the camera, usually the boys of the neighborhood.
Halim Ina Photography

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