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Eternal Djénné



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Eyes on the Prize
Photograph by Sarah Leen

A boy shimmies up a greased pole toward a wheel rim hung with toys and candy during September 22 Independence Day celebrations in Djénné. For years the city received little from Mali’s national government, which was ruled by corrupt dictator Moussa Traoré. Then a popular revolt and democratic election made Alpha Oumar Konaré, an archaeologist who once excavated at Jenne-jeno, the president. Djénné received running water and electricity, and the government cracked down on the looting of local archaeological sites. In 1998, over the objections of Djénné’s representatives, the National Assembly approved the damming of the Bani 90 miles (145 kilometers) upstream from the city. Djénné’s people fear that they will lose their river lifeline and all the recent good will be undone.



Camera: Nikon F100
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: Nikkor 24mm
Speed and F-Stop: Unrecorded
Weather Conditions: Sunny and hot
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Available light





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