CULTURE. STYLE.

willyverse:

It’s been 8 years since I spent a summer in Nigeria, so I was a bit hesitant to make the trip. I had a couple projects I wanted to execute. ‘Something to do’ was not on that list

Every time people living overseas visit Nigeria, there’s a tendency to take pictures of people on the streets of Lagos. Pictures of hawkers, wheel barrow pushers and buses are some of the common ones you’d see.This time around, I just felt doing that would be typical and pointless. One fateful afternoon, stuck in traffic, I noticed a street hawker selling Calculators. I thought to myself, “on a hot day like today, why on earth would you be out selling calculators”. Then It dawned on me. He’d rather walk around in the hot sun cause there’s a possibility he might sell one calculator, than sit at home doing nothing. Though you could say he should choose some other, more profitable, product, at the end of the day, it’s Just Something to do. Ah! 

From there, it was all about challenging myself to take portraits of  locals in the area, craftsmen, sellers etc. I aimed to showcase a wide array of jobs people take on, regardless of how non-profitable it might seem. I always assumed that this would be easy, cause Nigerians are generally happy people. I was spectacularly wrong. Nigeria is in a state of paranoia at the moment. You point a camera at anyone without permission, and you just might get attacked. I didn’t get attacked, but I was reported by a mallam whom I thought was just ‘unlooking’. Some portraits were easier than others because my parents are frequent customers of these traders. Some took a lot of convincing, like the tailor.

All in all it was an experience I was/am thankful for. Getting out of my comfort zone, and convincing strangers to have their picture taken is not something I thought I was capable of.

'Something to do' speaks to the character of the citizens. With an almost non existent middle class, it could be so easy to look to crime as a resolve. But these people, and others out there choose to use their hands to make an honest living, no matter how little the income might be.

Seyi Sowunmi, Creative Director at Motherland Krooks. 
IG:instagram.com/seyisowunmi

Seyi Sowunmi, Creative Director at Motherland Krooks. 

IG:instagram.com/seyisowunmi

Stripe 18

July 18, 1980 | Nelson Mandela

www.motherlandkrooks.com/shop

UWGA | Urban Wear Gone Afro. 
www motherlandkrooks.com

UWGA | Urban Wear Gone Afro.
www motherlandkrooks.com

5centsapound:

Patrick Willocq: On the road from Bikoro to Bokonda (Western DRC)

*I don’t usually reblog but lensculture has done another feature on Willocq and he deserved more attention. 

Willocq, through long term immersion in these villages, worked with the Batwa Pygmies and Bantu life in the province of Equateur (DRC) to create poignant images depicting complex themes on education, religion, the relationship between men and women, the role of the forest and globalization. These ‘bush theatres’ are artistically driven but yet reflect fundamental social problems and development needs.

Artist Statement via lensculture:

[…] I also wanted to go beyond images conveyed by Western media and show a Congo that we are not used to see because too often buried in images of war. I specifically wanted to witness the peace that prevails in the West, a different reality than the Eastern Congo. A reality that Western media regularly focus on and, although dramatic, stigmatizes the whole country.

Motherland Krooks. Research with the locals

Motherland Krooks. Research with the locals

Motherland Krooks 2014 - Ubuntu Collection

Motherland Krooks 2014 - Ubuntu Collection

jecer:

8511 by GK Sholanke on Flickr.

jecer:

8511 by GK Sholanke on Flickr.

benhorton83:

Driving out of the serengeti

benhorton83:

Driving out of the serengeti