Yesterday was a day or semi-relaxation, spending time with local friends and watching as the sky opened and flooded the Hong Kong streets. The real rain starts in June, but this was a nice sample of what is to come. Central Hong Kong was closed down as the streets filled with groups of Filipino women who sat playing cards, eating, etc. I slowly made my way through the streets, shooting the occasional portrait, but mostly just taking things in. The rains came in the afternoon so we ducked into a cafe and had drinks while the skies opened up. Dinner with friends.
Another day, another dollar. Yesterday was another day of long walks, searching and trying to find a way deeper into Hong Kong. I had two specific things in mind. First, a visit to Chungking Mansion and then a follow up visit to the Islamic Center near Kowloon Park. It might seem odd for me to venture to the mosque, but there is a method to my madness. Years ago I did a project about Islam in America, but it had been years since I’d really spent any time in a mosque. I simply wanted to see what a Hong Kong mosque was like. My second goal was to see what the harbor area looked like on a weekend, and finally I was planning a walk through the Kennedy Town area of Hong Kong. Western District and Kennedy Town seemed like they held a little residue of the old Hong Kong.
Just a quick update on things here in Hong Kong. Travel contest duties are now complete. Been a bit under the weather the past few days but have managed to get out and see what I could see. Yesterday was a trip to the Aberdeen, Repulse and Stanley. I finished up the day back in Central. More of the same on tap for the coming days, just picking a section of the city and going to see what I can see. I’ve not yet made a great image, or at least anything I consider great. I’m hoping I’ll see it and feel it as I get closer. I’ve also committed to only using the Leica M9. I have an M6 with me, and 30 rolls of TRI-X, but I want to commit to the digital and see what I can come up with. I’m anxious to get home and print a few files to really get a feel what the images are like on paper. It’s frustrating not feeling well, but not much I can do about it now. Coughing my way through Asia……….
Wanted to bring your attention to a project getting underway in the East African city of Nairobi. This project is headed up by Brendan Bannon, a long-time friend and fellow photographer who has called Nairobi home for over five years. I first met Brendan in Sicily where we were both snapping away on the Easter processions. At one point Brendan broke out his 6×17 camera, and I knew at that point he was both strange but likeable.
Brendan dropped me a line and let me know about this new project and I found it to be interesting from several angles. The basic information is in bold below, but I wanted to give you my take on a few things.
Brendan has a track record of making great imagery and also taking new angles to work that has been presented before. But, seeing as he lives in the middle of what he is photographing, I’ve always found an intimacy I don’t always see with other photographers who jet in and jet out. Also, he has found a way to attach his work to schools in the US, which you can read a little about below, and they are going to print and exhibit the work. I think this is the first time I’ve seen this, and I’m thinking it could be window into the future of this type of project.
I’m going to follow him and his work and see where this idea lands. I’ve not been to Nairobi but this site is named in tribute to a photographer who lived there for decades, yet another reason to follow the breath of a modern, African, mega-city.
An innovative photojournalism exploration of a fast-evolving African city, unfolding day by day in real time. Compelling, informative and surprising.
Nairobi-based photographer Brendan Bannon and journalist Mike Pflanz will spend each day in April 2011 gathering images and stories of lives lived in Kenya’s capital. These will be uploaded to our blog and sent to sponsor universities in the US who will hang them in an exhibition which grows day by day.
To create a nuanced presentation of modern urban Africa, rooted in the discipline of daily newsgathering, but free of the restrictions of a media outlet’s commercial, geographical or cultural agenda.