Event Date and time: Tuesday 23 May 2017 | 19:00 – 21:00
Venue details: The Frontline Club | 13 Norfolk Pl, London W2 1QJ
Organisers: The Frontline Club
Event cost: Standard – £12.50 Concession – £10.00
We are very happy to be joined by celebrated photographer Guillaume Bonn to discuss his new book The Mosquito Coast: Travels from Maputo to Mogadishu. Guillaume will be joining us in conversation with Jon Lee Anderson, investigative journalist and staff writer for The New Yorker.
Born in Madagascar, Bonn seeks out and preserve a legacy of the past in East Africa. Bonn has called the eastern African coast the Mosquito Coast, because of the malarial curse shared by the four countries—Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and Somalia—whose coastlines he has documented.
Along the Mosquito Coast today, communities exist in limbo, eking out their lives amidst the wreckage of lost civilisations. In Beira, Bonn captures abandoned night clubs, golf clubs, and hotels, proof that there was a time before, in which other, more prosperous people once lived there—people who had time for things like recreation. In Mogadishu, on her way from one place to another, a Somali woman in a red robe and matching turban takes a shortcut through the archway of the bombed-out husk of the old Italian cathedral. In Tanga, a librarian sits at a desk that is overlooked by a bronze bust of the late British King George VI, remaining after all these years.
Occasionally, we see glimpses of a new Africa. Such images are a reminder of the unevenness of life in Africa, and of how the price being paid for a notional modernity is the displacement of people. In many of Bonn’s images there is an air of bittersweet lamentation, but also indications of life going on.