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On the River to Timbuktu
Villagers watching writer Kira Salak along the Niger River

"Kira and I made a deal that I would not interfere with her adventure—I had a big boat, with a crew. She had to experience Africa by herself. So we would only meet for a few hours every four days.

"As you can see, everybody's on the banks of the river, looking at her leaving. It's so interesting for them—it's the first time they've seen such a kayak. The first time I saw it, I thought, She's not going to make it! It's too small, like a toy."

—Photographer Rémi Bénali

Photography Notes

  • Film: Fuji Velvia
  • Camera: Nikon F4
  • Lens: Nikon 24mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/125
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Time of day: 9 a.m.

"I wanted to capture the whole population intrigued by her boat, because she could create surprise. This is the interest here: to see the whole village looking, surprised at this white woman [kayaking] alone."


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