Kawéni graffiti (1)

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I'm currently writing a lesson plan on graffiti and street art, the idea being to teach the kids what the point of each is and how to tell the difference. As there are a lot of tags here, I wanted to start off with pictures of graffiti around their home village in the hopes that they would recognize some of it and be able to find the rest pretty easily.

What started off as a short trip down the main road turned into a two-hour photo safari throughout the village, with cries of "Miss Cooper!" echoing all round.

The village is called Kawéni, it's the village where my school is and where most of my kids live. Which actually worked in my favour, as photo-taking mzungus don't usually go down too well... but as there was a kid on every street who recognized me, most people smiled and asked how I was. I got a lot of smiles when I used my extremely limited Shimaorese (about twenty words) to say hello and that I was fine, thank you. A few asked what I was going to do with the photos. There was even one man who, when asked politely if I could take his picture, told me to wait. He then proceeded to get all dressed up for the photo, with his hat, white Muslim robe, black jacket and blue scarf. I had his photo printed through a photo website - easier and cheaper than trying to persuade my printer to print in colour, and a much better result - and brought it to him at his workplace.

         

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