For three years I lived in Beijing and for three years there was so much life happening there that I knew nothing about. It is a diverse city that is known for things like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, but its people are glossed over time and time again. It is not what is there, but rather who is there that makes it unique. These are the faces that make up Beijing and make it a diverse place.
What began as an attempt to gain closure on the city that made me feel so much grew into something I believe has value to more than just me. There is more to Beijing than the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, it is full of unique individuals that stay true to themselves despite pressure to conform. I found beauty and honor in that. I sought to capture that.
Coming from large cities such as Chicago and Beijing this village life was a foreign to me, so I sought to understand their lifestyle. I used my digital camera, iPhone, and film camera to always be ready if something incredible happened. There was a period of time when the electricity for the whole village went out, so I had to make use of a film camera. Life was centered on family and the beach. Young and old if the weather was nice they were there. Days when the wind was strong, the sand it picked up stung any part of exposed skin.
While in Sidi Kaouki I had a rare opportunity to be seen as a friend and part of the community instead of a tourist. I was invited for tea and meals and when I would try to pay, my money was refused. By then end of my three months in Sidi Kaouki I have a better understanding of life there and I know that I made friends that I will remember and they will remember me. It was an eye opening experience we do not need much to enjoy life. Though they do not have many possessions, they are some of the happiest people.
Europeans (On Going)
Using a film camera slows down the process, requires you to be more precise.