Lamu feels like ‘her home’ in Africa for Dutch photographer Annelies Damen. The moment she put her feet on the Kenyan Archipelago 20 years ago, the poetic feel of the place triggered her creativity. Lamu has maintained much of the unspoiled Swahili culture for centuries, which inspires dreams of the past.
The slow pace of living, the surrounding Indian ocean, the organic food, the Swahili architecture but above all she is intrigued by the women she meets, who are the inspiration for this new series.
The tropical equatorial light shines on the women who walk through the small streets in Shela, a small village near Lamu town. Some women are veiled in black as is the custom in Swahili culture. Other women coming from other Kenyan tribes show their colorful cloths and look at you when they pass.
Every stay in Lamu brings Damen into a closer and more personal contact with the women she meets and thus the East-African continent. Her experience on the island is unparalleled and addictive.
The 17 photos in this series are the beginning of a much bigger project: a photo book showing Damen’s affection for Lamu. The magical and poetic light shining on the women and the daily life will be the main focus.