Architectural Stonetown, Zanzibar
But in Stone Town, in the small spaces that forces you so intimately close to the people that live there, who deal with tourists every day whether by choice and profession or because they’re just forced to because of location. These spaces, not having the ability to hide myself or my camera, as I so often do while trying not to get noticed when I’m shooting images, made it particularly hard for me to try and do so here.
I ended up with this collection, a completely empty view of a totally busy town. I’m not sure what to think about it, as the space itself is infused with history and constantly changing aesthetic beauty and that in and of itself gives the photographs value for me. They almost capture the tactility and color of the real thing.
But I can’t help but wish that I had been a bit braver, and tried to make more connections with people so I could have caught more of them on film. It's after the fact, so there's not much you can do more than make the best of what you got and try to do better next time. And hope that what you did capture has meaning in it's own context.
This collection of photographs is one of the most interesting from my trip, a self-reflective examination of my journey as a photographer as much as just a traveller.
Stone Town in Zanzibar is a busy part of this restless oceanside city. Clustered public spaces wind paths between a cacophony of buildings, ranging in architectural style from Swahili to Arabic to British to faintly New Orleansian double-galleried constructions. There’s most often not even room to even fit a car down these roads, leading to flows of speeding motorbikes weaving between people dressed in styles similarly eclectic to the architecture. It’s a city of influences, a trade route that hasn’t lost it’s diversity of cultural influences, all fit into a fairly small area.
A lot of times when you're traveling, guides and know-it-allers will tell you that crowds in particular places don’t like to be photographed — as did my guide here, when we first entered the labyrinth of edgy beauty that is the Old Town. Sometimes you’ll find this warning to be true, and you’ll face a lot of glaring eyes, and sometimes people seem welcome enough to having their image taken, or at least fairly oblivious to it.