Saturday, June 14, 2008
Frederic Courbet: Lamu (Kenya)
To highlight the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop starting in Mexico City this coming Monday, I will focus this week's The Travel Photographer blog posts on various photojournalists and their work. I start off with the work of Frederic Courbet, a Belgian freelance photographer currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. His biography tells us that he started work in Africa 4 years ago, and had had ihis images published in The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Der Spiegel, The Observer and other international publications. He has also worked for various NGOs including CARE in Nairobi. Courbet is represented by the London-based Panos Pictures. I liked Courbet's imagery...and his galleries are well worth spending time on. For instance, look out for the wonderful image in his Somalia gallery of a multi-colored tent and clothes hanging in the wind. However, my favorite are his photographs of Lamu in Kenya. I didn't know that Lamu is Kenya's oldest living town and port, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. It has existed for at least a thousand years, and was an important center of the slave trade. The town's architecture is a mix of African and Islamic styles with inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors.