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Golden Oldies… one from El Alto, Bolivia

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In preparation for building a new website I have been going through some of my (very) old work… Came up with this pic from my days on the Postgrad course at LCP (now London College of Communication).

After marching with coca farmers half way across Los Yungas to protest in the capital La Paz, I did a side story about a lone Catholic priest who had been cast aside for his liberal methods on tackling drug addiction in his once sizable Munich parish and now worked with street children in El Alto – the large, sprawling shanty town (and a city in its own right) just outside La Paz.

It was taken in the days when I would shoot on grainy Fuji Superia 1600 film and then either scan it on the old Microtek (and spend hours getting rid of dust and scratches in some ancient version of Photoshop) or spend hours in a darkroom fiddling with chemicals in annoyingly dim infra-red light… those were the days! I think I used this pic for my first ever business card (which of course I did myself on an early version Epson inkjet printer)!

Interesting to see how my relation to my old work changes with time… at first discarding it as early experimentation but in time seeing (some) of it in a new light.  It is also interesting to see how some things never change – my work does tend to gravitate towards light-hearted moments even in apparently dark situations (which I guess somehow mirrors my own personality on some deep level).. my Hangberg long-term project is permeated with such images.

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