Photographer's Note

This photo has of course nothing to do with William Shakespeare or anything he ever wrote, but I met these two boys in a hamlet (= a group of houses; a small village) on the shore of the Niger river on the outskirts of a town called Diré in northern Mali.

And don't they look like little princes? :-)

Diré is an obscure town a few hours by road from much larger Timbuktu. (In my case the journey now and then went "off-piste" to avoid checkpoints manned by soldiers or policemen demanding bribes.)

Timbuktu is the most famous place in this part of Mali, but Diré was almost more important to me. I wanted to see what was said to be the world's largest solar powered electricity plant, opened one year earlier with the assistance of the UN and the World Bank. I thought that would be a great story to write, one that I could easily sell to any major paper.

But when I arrived at the solar power plant I found it already more or less abandoned. The glass panes were covered with Sahara sand, some of them broken. On one pane someone had written in the dust: "En panne" (Out of order).

What a disappointment!

Of course it could have been a good story of how such a prestigious project had failed so miserably, but it would have recquired much more work, and I doubt that I could have found anyone able, or willing, to tell me about it. Mali was a military dictatorship (although comparatively lenient and relaxed) with little understanding of Western style media freedom.

On my way back into town I made a detour to this little hamlet to take some photos. Another view can be seen in the workshop. Both photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12413 W: 572 N: 23835] (101980)
  • Genre: Pessoas
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 1982-02-00
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-06-30 0:26
Viewed: 0
Points: 58
Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12413 W: 572 N: 23835] (101980)
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