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Photographer's Note

Please read my story...

KOFFERS VOOR AFRIKA
valises pour l'Afrique
suitcases for Africa

In the Lange Koepoortstraat in the old city center of Antwerp the rather specific "koffers voor Afrik(a)" sounds like a title for an old Tintin album.

The shop must have been around since colonial times, when thousands of Belgians, the good, the bad and the ugly, headed for Congo, usually departing on a steamer from Antwerp, and there was indeed a big market for suitcases for Africa.

Now it's oddly out of place. Even though more people travel a lot more and to the most distant of places, Congo, our lost heart of Africa, is further away than ever, embroiled in tribal wars, corruption and post-colonial exploitation, a failed state, with everyone's dreams smashed.

And the leather suitcases that used to be sold here, are no longer in fashion, with modern tourists preferring - can you imagine? - backpacks. The mere word...

So the shop has closed down and its window shutters won't roll up no more. Soon the shutters will be covered with flyers, posters and probably graffiti too. One of those posters will say that the building has been put up for sale. Then it will be torn down.

Many people pass here every day, but I can't pass here without a feeling of nostalgia and I wanted to preserve some of it here.

I hope you feel it too.

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Camera: Nikon D40
Shutter speed: 1:320 sec
F-stop: f/3.5
ISO: 400
Focal length: 18 mm
Metering mode: Pattern
No flash / No tripod

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Photo Information
Viewed: 2014
Points: 12
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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2816 W: 35 N: 5742] (30636)
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