africa - Ancorpiu

30 photos for a global image to sum up my last 8 years in Africa.

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Mar
21

javier-acebal-portfolio-14Sometimes it’s a good idea to stop for a moment, have a look at the last few years and make the exercise of writing down in a paper or collecting the images and moments that were important for us in any way, and then take a look again at the result! Personally, I think it is a way to remember things that sometimes, forced maybe by the everyday routine, we forget.

So, I did it. I checked ALL the photos I’ve published in Ancorpiu and I made a folder with at least one picture of these important moments. There were many more than I expected so I had to choose 30 for sharing them with you: this is kind of a portfolio for my last eight years. There are other kind of photos I do (commercial, news, events…) but I prefer to focus on those I have already published on this website (in fact, I don’t like to mix a photo of a Minister with a plate of shrimps!).

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Have you ever seen a traditional bakery in Africa?

PostedAfrica, Photography     Comments No comments
Mar
03

Could you imagine yourself getting up at 4:30 AM in a small village in Africa, and walking through the nature in the most completely darkness to go to see how the bread is made in a traditional bakery? Don’t worry, I did it for you!

Babacar, a baker from Mar Lodj (Senegal, West Africa) welcomed us in his home for this photo-shoot. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did eating the warm bread!

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

Bakery in the Sine Saloum

A posible monologue by a senegalese wrestler.

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Jan
31

This book gathers in words and images a possible tour across the hours before the combat of a Senegalese wrestler, through the memories, feelings, rituals, movements and all magic that precedes the clash.

Coming from the south of Senegal and practiced for more than ten centuries, wrestling is a multitudinous sport that has become into an authentic social phenomenon of great transcendence in the country, very top in relevancy and prominence to any other sports. From the most traditional versions -mbappat- to the current practice of the lamb, the fighters have turned into idols of masses and represent one of little dreams of success, money, recognition and future for the young persons of the country. Dressed up with the traditional loincloth or mbap and different amulets or xons, they face in the sand their immense bodies and the magic that their respective wizards, the marabouts, articulate based on conjurations that seek to debilitate the force of the adversary.

The printed version is available at the Blurb website and the digital version in this page.

Preview:

Features:

Pages: 42
Premium paper 148gr/m2, lustre finish
Size: 18×18 cm

Invictus No One – eBook PDF

PostedBooks, Publications     Comments No comments
Jan
31

Invictus no one - cover

By: Cova Álvarez (text) y Javier Acebal (photo). Year: 2014 Coming from the south of Senegal and practiced for more than ten centuries, wrestling is a multitudinous sport that has become into an authentic social phenomenon of great transcendence in the country, very top in relevancy and prominence to any other sports. From the most traditional versions -mbappat- to the current practice of the lamb, the fighters have turned into idols of masses and represent one of little dreams of success, money, recognition and future for the young persons of the country. Dressed up with the traditional loincloth or mbap and different amulets or xons, they face in the sand their immense bodies and the magic that their respective wizards, the marabouts, articulate based on conjurations that seek to debilitate the force of the adversary.

This book gathers in words and images a possible tour across the hours before the combat of a Senegalese wrestler, through the memories, feelings, rituals, movements and all magic that precedes the clash.

Vista previa ebook “I’m waiting for the magic. It is almost noon and I am still alone in the slow and continuous everyday heat, that sort of heat that crushes bodies against the street. Outside, a murmur of prayers merges with the eternal haggling of the markets and pours through every crack of the room, mingling with the spiraling flight of the flies and their muddy buzz. Sitting on the floor under the motionless fan blades, I extend my arm to caress the pool of light liquefied behind the window, which is open like a wound to the orange and savage sun of Dakar. Still alone in this cave but already they arrive –one by one or all at once- and meanwhile I plunge my hand into the light to feel its warmth on the tips of my fingers. Fingers that would later fly full of sun towards my lower lip, the same lip that burned three months ago after smashing against Bakari´s left shoulder. I do not understand how memory works and it has always intrigued me. I do not think I will find it- the truth- but many times I have wondered why something that did not exist in my head seconds before could suddenly blow up inside my skull and change everything around me, moving pieces of an invisible puzzle. Like now; it is the light on my dried and healing lip which lets me hear the sound clearly that the lip made when split at that frontal shock, like a camera shooting from a corner of this ramshackle room; it is an ugly room, bare with grey walls, with everything that was hung on them close to falling off. Following the shoot it always happens; the torrential downloading of images of the clash with this massive one, this evil beast, Bakari, a mountain made of skin that absorbs me in its billows of flesh like a ton of mud. All images contain the metallic taste of bleeding, the burst of blood blooming like a liquid flower on my chin, cascading over my chest. All images have a feel to them. I search for the small mirror on the wall behind me to count grooves and bumps, shadows and ripples. Here is my face, the new geography: Latif Country, Latif Ocean, Latif Desert, Latif Riverside, Latif of the South Lands, Latif King of Sands, L A T I F. New coordinates made of skin where my lips are not the same as before, nor my face, nor my right ear –half destroyed- because nothing made of soft tissue has the same shape, not at all. I could explore my body inch by inch and I bet I would not find any remainder of the puny boy I used to be, of that climber’s body that I once inhabited. I get a little bit closer to the mirror and I stumble over the wooden table, not yet varnished. A bunch of little bottles, accumulated over the last few weeks, tremble, dance. I stop their dance with my toothed claws, with the hands of a future king, silencing the sounds of glass about to break, counting them again to assure their survival: twelve.”

Features:

– 22 pgs. – PDF format. – Resolution: 2560 × 1600. – Size: 15MB. – Language: English.

The printed version is available at the Blurb website!

AECID: 25 years of Spanish cooperation. Photo assignment.

PostedAfrica, Photography     Comments No comments
Nov
29

« Spanish Cooperation: change and impact. » This is the title given by the Spanish Embassy, together with the AECID for a group of visuals created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Spanish cooperation.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Spanish International Cooperation for development, it has been created a group of 30 panels with more than 50 photographies taken in Senegal, (mainly in Dakar and Casamance regions), illustrating the impact of the agency for different sectors of the Senegalese society like health, education, women empowerment or environment. Most of the panels are designed with two photographies of the same scenario but with two different perspectives (pupil-teacher, doctor-patient, etc.) or two similar spaces showing the before and after the agency action . This duality is created on purpose to help the public understand the situation and to add action and dynamism or, in other words, a cause and effect relation to reinforce the idea of change and impact developed with the work of the Spanish cooperation in Senegal.

Congreso AECID / Dakar

The pictures have been showed on the walls of the spanish embassy and consulate, as well as in multiple events of the agency. (Picture above)

More information  here.

Sightsavers in Senegal

I’ve recently had the opportunity to take pictures of the work that Sightsavers is doing in Senegal. Sightsavers works to combat blindness in developing countries, restoring sight through specialist treatment and eye care. They also support people who are irreversibly blind by providing education, counseling and training.

Find a small sample of my work for them below.

Photos © Sigthsavers / Javier Acebal

Updating the website

PostedAfrica     Comments No comments
Mar
12

Since I got back to Dakar in November 2011, I’m spending most of my time and energies on a marketing, design and photography project for the hospitality industry. A project that started in Spain but has become true and legal in Senegal: Oh-tel ! Marketing. However, I try to get some time to keep working and updating the website on the kind of photography I love : the people, their stories and the intensity of their looks.

Find here a small sum up with some photos of my 2012 in Dakar.

Some time ago I published an article about the Senegalese traditional dance festival in Dakar:

Traditional senegalese dance: the lions

And a quick advance of the project I’m working on right now : Senegalese wrestling

Wrestling in Senegal.

Senegalese wrestling: the mystical sport.

PostedAfrica, Photography     Comments No comments
Mar
03

Wrestling is the national sport in Senegal. Sculptural black bodies fight for a prize that years ago used to be rice, a woman, a piece of land or honor and now has become into thousands of dollars and glory for the best ones. But the most important part of the Senegalese wrestling – the magic – still remains intact from the origins of the sport and therefore the Marabouts keep preparing different good-luck charms, potions and spells to enforce and bless the fighter.

On these series of photos I accompanied the wrestler Djily Mbaye during the previous hours and during his combat at the stadium. I firstly photographed the most private ritual at his house (praying, dressing the good-luck charms, speaking spells, using the potions…) and then the ambience and the part of the ritual done at the stadium.

This is a part of a larger documentary project about wrestling in Senegal, aiming to show the wrestler’s life, rituals, fans and all the folklore and people that is involved in the sport.

Find our eBook about the senegalese wrestling here or the printed version in Blurb.

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

Senegal wrestling - Laamb

African traditional dance festival. Dakar, Senegal

PostedAfrica     Comments No comments
Jun
23

Dancing like lions, jumping, playing drums, the cora and other traditional african instruments: check it out some pics from the festival in Dakar 2012.