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AKR1

The Dankali Depression Ethiopia

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A set of truly stunning pictures in this Sundays NYT by photographer Andrea Frazetta.

 

"My birth as a photographer took place in Africa: The first assignment I ever took was in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the Danakil, a desert in Ethiopia, I felt this very real sense of nowhere, as if I were suspended in time. It is such a wild place, and feels like the heart of Africa. It’s the region where Lucy, the famous hominin, was found; it was the start of humanity, and it feels like it. But it is also such an extreme place to visit, one of the hottest in the world. You can really only go during three months of the year — between December and February — and even then it was so hot, I couldn’t do anything after the morning. I felt terrible at first, but then something happens — you get used to it. The area feels prehistoric. You have all this light: It’s white and dusty, and there becomes a kind of charm to a place without colors. But then you go a little farther from the salt plains, and the landscape becomes a psychedelic experience, all greens and reds and veins of minerals. And then there are these other moments that were very dark, almost black, because we had to arrive in the middle of the night to see the volcano. This was a visual journey, to go from white to color to dark. It’s the cycle of photography. The landscape really took me out of my comfort zone. It is an atmosphere like hell. The noise of the lava, the gurgling, is incredible. It’s one of the only countries in the world that lets people so close to the crater of the volcano. I could feel my feet burning, and at one point one of the legs of my tripod was melting from the heat of the ground. But there were moments so full of joy and so pure, like when my guide Ali ran into his friend in the middle of nowhere, this vast white desert, and they were so happy to see each other. They did the keke dance, a dance of joy. He told me that when you meet an old friend, you dance like this, with your hand in the air. It was so beautiful, because it was so unexpected." NYT Magazine 9/25.2016

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