Photographer's Note

Today I post three photos from the streets of Sikasso, a city in the southern part of Mali, on the road towards the Ivory Coast. They were all scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Spending an afternoon and a night here in early March 1982 I got an impression of Sikasso as a very quiet city where not much was going on. Preparing this note I was surprised to realize it's the second largest city of Mali.

Reading my diary from that journey I found that I quite enjoyed the calm and easy-going atmosphere of Sikasso. I think today's photos will reflect the slow pace of the city. I have no memory of taking them, but I guess the main photo was from somewhere in the center.

When I look at these photos today I get an image of Sikasso as a city of rather severe decay and poverty, which I didn't see as clearly when I was there. I noted the low activities but I was so used to poverty by then and had seen much worse places during my journey.

On the road from Bamako to Sikasso I also noted how I left the arid Sahel area and entered a much more typical tropical zone. The scenery turned much greener and the humidity increased considerably.

Leaving Mali the next day I ended a very calm and safe journey of more than three months. Travelling through Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali I had no bad experiences, only meeting nice and helpful (or indifferent) people. The following 3-4 weeks I ran into problems almost everywhere, going through the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. I was robbed, forced to bribe a border guard, met drunken soldiers pointing their guns at me and had several unpleasant encounters with rude policemen.

How strange that those safe and friendly countries further north have in recent years counted among the most dangerous countries in the world!

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10702 W: 534 N: 20784] (91146)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 1982-03-10
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-07-26 23:59
Viewed: 0
Points: 46
Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10702 W: 534 N: 20784] (91146)
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