Buy PRIVATE 56 [F]illed only with preconceived ideas, I felt the need to experience, first hand, the streets of Southern Africa. This decision was influenced by a profound sense of guilt, as I considered the regions exploited by Western societies. As famine, poverty and civil wars continue to play out on the world media, one feels that little has altered in this vast continent and the future of Africa seems inexorably rooted in its past.
However, the recent increased exposure of the population to “Westernisation” is encouraging a profound change. Zambia seemed to me a promising country to explore as, in 1964, it gained its independence from the British Empire and the World Bank recently re-classified the nation as a middle-income country.
During this road trip, my initial ideas that brought me to Zambia have evolved, demonstrating an individual need to travel the world, and to challenge the illusion conveyed by the Internet that the world is becoming smaller and smaller. The vastness of Gaia cannot be felt or imagined via the Internet.
Photography is still my best excuse to establish a relation with the unfamiliar and it is my preferred medium to record this interaction. Furthermore, photography is considered as a tool not to make statements about what is right or wrong, but to pose questions which aim to promote cultural debates and echoes of tweets.
(Alessandro Rota | A Neocolonialist’s Diary, PRIVATE 56, pages 72-75)