Photographer's Note

I had planned to show a photo from Copenhagen in 1966, taken on my way home from England by train, but I decided it was really not interesting enough. I may return to Denmark later, but I will probably first have to find myself a new scanner.

Meanwhile, here is instead a photo that seems like it was taken only yesterday. It is one of very few photos I took while spending a couple of weeks in Niamey, capital of Niger, in December 1981. An all male laundry staff were washing clothes on the banks of the Niger river in the center of the city. As far as I remember one or two of them saw me and shouted something to me rather angrily. This was the only photo I took.

Niger was a complicated country for photography. An official written permit was needed in every city. In Agadez in the north I received one easily by friendly policemen who didn't have much to do. In Zinder in the south I couldn't get any permit because the office was closed, or there was some other problem.

After arriving in Niamey I had to go to the Ministry for information and write a personal letter to the Minister asking him for permission. His secretary read my letter and was very upset, because it was written in the informal style I knew from home: polite but not ridiculously so, and straight to the point. "Non, c'est impossible", she insisted and forced me to write a new letter. Since I didn't know my way through French official politeness she dictated the entire letter, word for word.

A few days later I received my permit, signed by the Minister. Immediately after I stepped out from my hotel with my camera visible I was stopped by a soldier asking for my photo permit.

This photo was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.

Here is a larger version.

Photo Information
Viewed: 867
Points: 68
Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12403 W: 572 N: 23807] (101890)
View More Pictures