Hairdresser Younous Copaul (81) is waiting for the first customer in his hair salon in Mahébourg, Mauritius. Copaul estimates he must have cut the hair of more than 250,000 people since starting his business in 1944. Retirement is not an option, simply because he needs the money. However, he tells me he still enjoys his job.
I took the picture in May 2010, just when huge numbers of people took to the streets of Madrid, Paris and Athens to demonstrate against government plans to raise the retirement age. EU statistics show that the average age of retirement in Greece is 61, while in France it is 59.4.
Wow! The Himba.
In two weeks I will be in #Namibia again. And this year I'm not just going to drive around with guests; I will be spending quite some time on my own in the #bush. This week I decided that I will use at least part of that to visit and photograph the #Himba.
I've been so many times in #Namibia now and every now and then I realise how the beauty of the country can kind of fade away in my mind. I guess it’s a kind of inflation of the senses or something; I notice it more often. Maybe it is very normal if you travel as much as I do.
I took these photos in 2015 and today I dicovered that I didn't even edit them afterwards; they were just there on my hard drive…never looked at them again. But now I do and I feel: WOW!
The beauty of these people, the way in which they live their lives almost exactly the same as they did a hundred years ago. The way they welcome me. We can hardly understand each other, but there is always contact and warmth. And humor. It often seems to me that these people are not bothered by all those things that make our lives so complicated, such as haste, greed and all sorts of nonsensical worries. Perhaps just in one word: fear.
I also reread this fascinating BBC article online, about how the Himba have a completely different perception of the world around us. They literally SEE differently and don’t recognise the colours that we see.
Anyway, enough reasons to really pay attention to this and that is exactly what I’m planning to do.
There’s another good reason for that as well. There are a few major threats lurking for Kaokoland - the area where the Himba live. There are serious plans for a huge dam in the Kunene River and a sea port on the Skeleton Coast, with a rail connection right through the heart of Kaokoland.
It is possible that all this beauty will have disappeared in 10 years time.