A Photography, a story: "Camion à Agadès - Niger"

Truck in Agadès - Niger
"These scenes are relatively frequent but always striking ... These trucks arrive in Agadès from Libya loaded with objects and passengers for whom this trip is also an initiation rite." André Benamour

Interview André Benamour

ArtPhotoLimited : What is the history of this photograph?

   This photograph is from October 2006. I left for a few days in Agadès, in northern Niger, only to take pictures in the region. It was on the road of Ténéré, close to Agadès, that I crossed this truck, loaded as usual. These scenes are very frequent but always striking. All passengers greet us, happy to reach the end of a long journey. A few kilometers away, it was the police station: stop, check of papers and presence of many passengers with whom I could discuss very briefly, but no question of photographing in the presence of the police.

In your description, you talk about a frequent trip and an "initiation rite" for these passengers, what do you mean by that?

  Agadès is considered as the capital of the Tuareg country, it is the place from where go and where arrive the trucks and vehicles coming from Libya. Migrants search for a better life, and workers return home loaded with equipment and goods.

What is the origin of your passion for photography in Africa?

   It is thanks to my profession of hydrogeologist that I have been able to cross Africa and to carry out parallel a fascinating photographic activity, and this since 1965. I have resided in many countries mainly in West Africa, Niger and Burkina Faso for over twenty years but also in Equatorial Africa, Cameroon and Gabon. My job was during all these years to supply water to hundreds of villages and therefore to go, always accompanied by my boxes and objectives, thousands of kilometers through savannas, forests and deserts.

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