I'm traveling in West Africa for a couple weeks, shooting video along the way. Thought I'd blog a few stills shot on the smaller of several cameras I brought, the Kodak Zi6, which I adore. No, I wasn't paid to say that, but here's an Amazon link
. The Zi6 shoots surprisingly good HD video, with reasonably good sound for a "Flip-sized" device. Below, some stills from video footage I shot yesterday. More in this evolving set
Top to bottom: A voudun ceremony on the streets of Ouidah, men dressed in the regalia of the gods and ancestors.
A voudun fetish market in a village on the way to Ganvie -- you can see the carcasses of leopard and other wild cats and protected species in this particular market stall, along with python skins. Someone I know watched a vendor cut the head off a tabby kitten, gut it, and skin it here -- they use all kinds of animals in the rituals.
Gasoline for sale on the roadside. I'm told a lot of this is smuggled in from Nigeria, just next door.
And those last three stills: en route to, and inside the village of Ganvie, which was founded in the 1700s as a refuge for people of the Tofinu ethnic group. They were trying to avoid being captured by the dominant, warring Dahomey ethnic group, who sold captives into the slave trade. The entire village is built on stilts, over the water. About 30,000 people live here now, I'm told. Everything is water, there's not really any land. Everyone moves around on the boats you see here, and even the market where women sell fish and cassava and herbs and fruits -- all of that is on boats, sitting in the water.
The women here traditionally wear intricate tattooing on their bodies, and some tattooing and scarification on their faces. As we were pulling up to the one shop/hotel/whatever that welcomes tourists, another boat pulled right up next to us, paddled by a beautiful tattooed/scarred young woman selling some kind of sweet starchy bread balls. I think the thing I'll remember most about Ganvie might be watching her flirt with and bat her eyelashes at our Beninois fixer/driver, who sat next to me on the boat.
There are a lot of really fascinating things about how daily life in this community works. One of these is how they farm fish. This lake, Lake Nokoué, is actually hard for things to grow in, so each family plants reeds to form "plots" in the water, to encourage fish to nest and breed there. The plots are carefully guarded and tended -- it's hard for me to imagine how they tell them apart, it's not like they have signs on them or something. If one family's plot is doing really well, they might sell the amount of fish beyond what they need to survive. If another family isn't doing well, they might work as laborers on a more successful family's plot.
I'll be traveling to a more remote, northern part of the country tomorrow, and maybe into Burkina Faso and Niger. I probably won't have good enough connectivity to blog much for the next 4-5 days. But I'll probably text some short stuff to Twitter, and I'll share more quick snaps soonest when back among the wired. And, eventually, video.
Historically, US companies have been able to get around the (relatively stringent) European data-protection rules thanks to a “Safe Harbor” agreement between the US and the EU — but Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist, has successfully argued that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs violate European law and invalidates the Safe Harbor.
The Treaty on the Right to Privacy, Protection Against Improper Surveillance and Protection of Whistleblowers [PDF] (AKA “The Snowden Treaty”) was created by David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, who was detained by UK police under terrorism legislation while transiting through London’s Heathrow airport with a encrypted thumbdrive containing some of the Snowden leaks.
Lavie Tidhar writes, “The Apex Book of World SF 4 is out today – this is the fourth volume of the series began in 2009, and features 28 stories from 25 countries, seven of which are translations, and it is the first volume to be edited by Mahvesh Murad – marking this also as the […]
Today and tomorrow only we are offering an additional 15% off the entire Boing Boing store (some exclusions may apply). Simply use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY at checkout! Below are a few of our favorites from the store: First Generation Lytro 16GB Camera: The First Consumer Camera to Capture the Entire Light FieldAdobe Training Videos: Lifetime Subscription: 6,000+ Adobe […]
Today only in the Boing Boing Store we are offering an extra 15% off of the below VPN deals just use coupon code: VPN15 at checkout. proXPN VPN: Premium Lifetime Subscription Surf the web with ultimate peace of mind – both at home and on the road – over proXPN’s fully-encrypted, lightning-fast servers. Your lifetime premium subscription […]
These knitted gloves are here to save the day (and your hands) with an ultra-comfy, double-layer that will allow you to stay warm and use your phone. Now you can take photos on the fly, text, Tinder, and more without letting freezing temperatures get in your way. Plus they work with all touchscreens, so no […]