This is the remarkable work of an italian photographer, Paolo Evangelista, on the muslim community of the african Islands of Zanzibar.
Freelance photographer born in Napoli (Italy). After studying Fine Arts, Music and Anthropology, I packed my camera and coffee machine and started traveling. My first stop was Australia where I spent nearly 3 years. I kept doing what I used to do in Italy other than studying. . . taking photos. As a photographer, I am mainly interested in capturing the daily life of a place, the way people relate to each other and place where they live. At the moment I am trying to concentrate my photos on all the interesting things the Swahili culture has to offer.
I have never seen such altruism between people, such cooperation, such a way of helping each other, the way kids take care of other kids, such a sense of “we” and community. Initially, I tried to be accepted and become part of the local community by changing the perception of me as a white guy with a camera.
My story is a very simple one: The story I want to tell is one about a small community of local people living in “Stone Town”, a World Heritage site located on the Swahili Island of Zanzibar – inhabited by a community with different roots and backgrounds – Africans, Indians and Arabs – whose style of living and behavior completely blew me away. I have never seen such altruism between people, such cooperation, such a way of helping each other, the way kids take care of other kids, such a sense of “we” and community. Initially, I tried to be accepted and become part of the local community by changing the perception of me as a white guy with a camera. I finally managed to get close to them. There couldn’t have been a better experience! I have learned a lot from them, especially from the many and astonishing kids. I can still remember most of their names and have very fond memories of them. I still try to keep in touch with them through their parents or older siblings.
I don’t have a “dramatic” story to tell. No AIDS, global warming, civil wars or homeless people; My story is about a people who touched my heart with their way of life and made me think about how it is so different from life in developed countries, which is mostly driven by materialism. I want to show a Zanzibar that very few people know, that has nothing to do with luxury hotels, sandy beaches, spas and so on. The real Zanzibar is a place where you can experience the kindness of people who invite you into their homes and share what little they have”.
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