Praying Mantises (or is it "Mantii") aren't uncommon in Swaziland and this one only caught my eye because it was relatively large and I because I needed a subject to try and my new Kodak point and shoot (which also happened to be my first ever camera). It wasn't until about 3 snaps into the photo session that I realised the mantis had something in its mouth.
I submitted this photo to the (then) BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Animal Portraits category I think. Needless to say, I had absolutely no idea how to properly prepare an image for a competition and I think that, instead of reducing the file size slightly, I converted all my images into small thumbnails. Anyway, this shot actually reached the semi-finals.
Would it have made the finals had it been taken with a better camera? Who knows? All I know is that it was about a metre from my front door.
Prompted by the sudden loss of Etran Finatawa founding member, Bagui Bouga, I thought I'd dust off some photos of the band in 2009.
To this day, people still talk about that concert and the video I took on the night doesn't stop shaking because there was no way of standing still.
In December 2012, MTN Bushfire Festival of the Arts submitted a proposal called Talking Doors to the Prince Claus Fund call for proposals from Africa. Soon after submitting the proposal, MTN Bushfire began a partnership with Yebo! ArtReach to plan and design the Talking Doors Installation. In May MTN Bushfire was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Prince Claus Grant. MTN Bushfire and Yebo! ArtReach worked closely in conceptualizing, contextualizing, designing, and constructing the 4-room interactive art installation to be opened at the festival. Talking Doors was designed to facilitate audience engagement with the festival theme 'Bring Your Fire' – igniting a collective response for positive change.
We're going quite far back to a video I made in 2009. Etran Finatawa are a Nigerien group composed of Tuareg and Wodaabe musicians - something that helps define their place in what is now a very popular genre, Desert Blues.
They've recently released a new album, "Sahara Sessions", which is definitely worth lending an ear to.
The songs on the following video are from their previous album "Desert Crossroads"
So this is where it gets really fun.
I recently spent the weekend working at the Bushfire festival in Swaziland as part of a larger installation organised by Yebo ArtReach. As part of Creative Beans we set up a section called "Out the Box" - an area where people could express themselves through dressing up.
The results were spectacular and the portraits below really don't do justice to the creative explosion that was going on inside that box.
It's worth bearing in mind that the subjects all only had about 3 or 4 minutes from start to finish.
Quazi Design is a small company based in Swaziland that make paper jewellery. And it's almost as simple as that - almost everything is made from recycled magazines.
I loved the fact that fashion magazines (although not exclusively) were themselves being transformed into fashion items.
I'm working on a promotional video for them (soon to be released).
more info: www.quazidesign.com
Monday morning and what better than a bit of boogie?
Here are two very different dancing clips from the Tshe-tsha Boys and Sotho Sounds respectively.
The Tshe-tsha boys are a dance group from the Shangaan Electro genre - a frenetic, high-powered dance genre from South Africa (recorded at the 2011 Bushfire Festival in Swaziland).
Sotho Sounds are a group I've been working with over the last two years with their own shoulder-jiggling style.
Which do you prefer?
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