Let me introduce these gentlemen. They belong to PF, the Patriotic Front party in Zambia. I met them last May on Labour Day. With the rainy season over, it was time to get out of doors and take some pictures.
The day starts with a parade, which sweeps down Independence Avenue, passing the Mosque on its way towards town. In 2016 there were the usual marching bands and floats – open topped lorries providing a stage for the entertainment. My favourite float, sponsored by Zambeef, featured butchers at work and a live barbecue. Announcing that they were pleased to meat you, those on board were clearly enjoying themselves.
Approaching the end of the route, the atmosphere became more tense. With a general election looming, many in the crowd were draped in chitenge wrappers : lengths of cotton fabric proclaiming their political allegiance. Edgar Lungu – the ruling President from PF (the Patriotic Front) – was due to speak and his supporters were out in force.
Attracted by the bold patterns on the chitenge wrappers (donated by the political parties) I cautiously started taking photos. It wasn’t long before a PF supporter asked what I was doing and I thought that was the end of my photography for the day. Imagine my surprise when he invited me to take a picture of him, along with his fellow cadres.
Using a digital camera that day, I had the choice of leaving the photos in colour or converting them to black and white. For me colour works best in this picture, taken from behind. In black and white the flags and the chitenge wrapper lose their impact.
On the other hand, I prefer the black and white version of the group portrait. Colour distracts my attention from the expressions on the men’s faces. I’ve included the colour version of the portrait, so you can make up your own mind.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.