Photographer's Note

This is from the island of Bubaque in the Bijagos (or Bissagos) archipelago of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. To me almost every market in Africa is a very special place, but as a photo I suppose this is really nothing special at all. It was not a place where I could arrange anything or make a clever composition. It was just a matter of getting inside the crowd and aiming the camera in a reasonably free direction with reasonably good light. In the few seconds I needed to check sharpness and exposure the woman to the left happened to step into the view. It is a bit disturbing to have cut off half of her baby hanging from her back, but I guess this illustrates the ever changing flow of people in a place like this.

As far as I can see this is the first photo on TE from Bubaque. I spent a couple of days there in 1990 to get away from the capital. I went there by boat, which was a journey of several hours, but returned to Bissau by plane.

The Bijagos islands are partly autonomous and the inhabitants speak their own language, Bijago. The relative lack of government control - and an extremely weak and corrupt government generally - seems to have been one reason why Latin American drug cartels have been able to use the islands in recent years as a stepping-stone for smuggling mainly cocaine into Europe.

26 years ago this was a very quiet place.

You can see two workshop photos, showing my boat and my plane. The Map:view gives you an approximate location of this photo. The three photos were all scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Here is a larger version of the main photo.

Photo Information
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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11536 W: 562 N: 22227] (96656)
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