A Photography, A History: "Hobos"

"A unique face deserves a portrait. A wanderer on the roads of southern Madagascar" Salvatore Avallone

Interview Salvatore Avallone

ArtPhotoLimited: You tell us today about the history of your photo called "hobos". Or did you take this shot? In what city ?

Salvatore Avallone: ​​The photo was taken in the town of Fort Dauphin in the southeast of Madagascar.

Do you know this person personally or did you meet him by chance?

I met this man by chance, I just walked, I just left the city. It is very likely that this man comes from the bush because I have never met him since. We do not often meet vagabonds here in Madagascar because the local culture is very attached to the family.

How was the meeting?

This man touched me by his look, simple and happy, like a person who has reconciled with life. I asked him if I could photograph (portrait that I realized in one take). He then asked me to offer him a coffee. On his chest, he moves with a note whose words are partially understandable.

What is written about his writing?

It was written in Malagasy, it would simply have been said that the words were written phonetically, as if he were writing them for the first time. One can distinguish a name: "Nônô"; Probably his own. The word "sun" in official Malagasy is pronounced "masoandro" and on the writing, one can distinguish "machoandroes". The sun is a symbol of the culture of the Anosy region, so we can probably assume that this man comes from this region, in which the city of Fort Dauphin is located.

All your portraits are in black and white. Why ?

I love black and white. Also color. But it's a matter of choice. For now I focus on black and white. I prefer to reserve the use of color for abstract photography.

What camera do you use for your portraits?

I started with silver with a Leica M6. When I switched to digital, I first used an M9 and more recently a Pentax.

Last question that concerns you more personally, since when did you know that photographer was your favorite craft?

I've been focusing on photography for five years. But photography has always been my passion since my youngest age.

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