Adïam Yemane

These photographs are from a my previous 6am ferry ride from Banjul to Barra, Gambia. I had taken this journey twice before and was deeply observing the daily commuters, wondering where they could be going and coming from. I found myself in a reflective state, thinking about the history of the same river and what the waters must have witnessed. Mesmerized by the body of water and the warm golden light of the early hours reflecting off it, I kept thinking about the people who had crossed these same waters around 300 years ago, being carried away into slavery, unsure if these same waters would ever see them return. Observing the people who now willingly commute on the same waters, I try to look for signs of liberation in their body language, what they have brought with them, how they hold these objects, the way they stand or sit on their journey, how they move and interact with each other. I usually end up in a conversation with a stranger on the ferry, whom I might ask to photograph if it fits well and feels appropriate. However, there are times when I am just like a fly on the wall. For example, if I see a moment, I create the image, and if the person or people in the photograph are identifiable, I then approach them and explain what I am doing. I ask if they are okay with me using the images as part of the project. They usually respond by asking if they can see it, and I explain that I am using an analog camera and ask if they wish for me to send it to them at a later time.

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