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Visa pour l'Image - Enrico Dagnino

News and Events - Documentaries

Visa pour l'Image 2008

Post-electoral violence in Kenya

© Enrico Dagnino

Originally from Geneva, photographer Enrico Dagnino is someone who thinks that the presence of a female on a reportage is bad luck, like a black cat that crosses your path. Unless of course, nothing happens and her physique becomes an advantage. It has therefore taken several years of communal life for him to tolerate me following him in the wake of these extreme situations. In addition, Kenya, this example of liberal democracy torn by conflict in the heart of Africa. This country that Enrico has frequented for the past 30 years since the 80s, or later when he became a photojournalist while he covered the Somalian conflict. As for many others, Nairobi was often a haven of peace where Enrico Dagnino would pub crawl with a cigar in his mouth just after being paid for a series of violent photos.

We both felt a little bit silly, celebrating the New Year of 2008 in front of a fireplace with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. We watched the computer dispatches announcing the Kenyan crisis, when Paris Match called and asked: "Do you want to go?" Two days later, we were at the bottom of the impertinent glass towers of Nairobi that the tourists had left.

© Enrico DagninoFor a reason that only partially escaped me, Enrico Dagnino decided to set us up in the presbytery of the Italian fathers of the order of Comboni, his old friends who serve the pasta al dente and are never short of grappa and live in proximity to the slums of east Africa that surround the capital.

Not the slightest trace of tar, or the 6 % growth announced by the Kenyan government in 2006 can be found on these walls affected by smallpox in these muddy alleys where millions of people survive on less than a dollar a day. The burned carcasses of cars read testament to the violent confrontations of the opponents of Raïla Odinga. Odinga, the unfortunate candidate for the presidential elections of the Luo party defeated by the re-elected president Mwai Kibaki who is accused of having "stolen" a controversial ballot and land for the benefit of his tribe, the Kikuyus. This revolution, called "orange", did not advance with followers brandishing flowers or scarves like in the Ukraine, but rather with machetes and broken heads.

Caroline Mangez, reporter for Paris Match


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