The Stores of Nsumbula

Africa, Documentary, street photography, travel

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Nsumbula is a remote town in the province of Kasai-Occidentale, not too far from the Angolan border in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I was there in March for just a couple of nights photographing (for The Leprosy Mission Canada) those in the area suffering from leprosy. Walking through Nsumbula one afternoon I decided to take just one or two photos of each of the hand-painted stores and dealers that lined the main street. I didn’t think much of it at the time – often I like to just record things for the sake of looking back in 20 years time and saying, “oh right, that’s what it was like then.” But I’m just editing the several thousand photos I took in that month-long trip now, and I rather liked this small sequence of shop scenes. As with most of my favourite images these days, I think there’s significance in the details.

I think I took 26 shots in the 7 minutes it took me to walk down the street and here’s my quick edit of them.

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