Photographer's Note

English version:

I was resolved to travel by myself between Thulla, Hababa, Zakatine and Bokur, even after I had been told that it was almost impossible to do so, by oneself. The difference between "almost impossible" and "completely impossible", often interests me very much. In that case, I realised it meant I had to use local transportation only. Which is nothing impossible...! Locals do it everyday, isn't?! I thought I maybe wouldn't find many people to travel to Zakatine and Bokur at the end, because it seemed very remote, and then? I could walk! So, what's wrong with the tourists? Too much in hurry or too lazy for such a journey?

It is not easy, that's true, specially for someone who barely speaks arabic, but if you keep a good mood, and keep in line, that's not so difficult. It can even become one of the funniest moment of a trip.

I began to bargain a ride to Hababa by shared taxi. But it was a bit late, around noon, to find other customers, to share the vehicle with me and the drivers were asking me very eccentric (and, of course, very high) prices. Finally I found a guy who was going back to Hababa for lunch and who didn't care to take me on board for a normal rate. We talked all the way, most of the time without understand each other, but it was quite funny. He tried to convince me to hire his services for the whole trip as private driver, but I refused. Instead of beeing offended, he invited me for the lunch, but I declined his invitation because I was already late. When we've been arrived in Hababa, he has let me on the big road which leads to Zakatine and refused that I pay him for the ride!
I began to walk. It was a steep slope under the harsh light of a very hot sun but I was free and very happy to make it by myself.
After long minutes, I saw a vehicle slowly coming. It was a lorry with three jolly fellows, very surprised and very diverted to see me hitch-hiking in this barren lansdscape.
They took me for a short ride, let me at a crossing before they changed direction. Then I walked again. It was intoxicating to be alone in such a dramatic landscape. I loved it. I walked a moment. The wind was up and I had to mind my scarf on the head would not fly away. Hearing a car coming, I adjusted it on my head again, and turned back to hitch-hike. When it stopped, I realised it was a pijou. It was full of old men, traditionaly dressed. They seemed serious and not so serviceable, at first look, to be true.
I sat in front, next to the man next to the driver, and the journey began. I took a look to the faces of my companions: they were proud, grave and silent.

I began a reverie on the landscape when one of them asked me a question. When they learnt that I was french, they began to talk to me about Franois Mitterand (very good, to their opinion, they showed me their thumbs up), about Jacques Chirac (they showed me again their thumbs up) and then, enquired about "Sarkouzy"... how was he?
I sigh, said "Ae, ae, ae" which made them laugh. And said, my hands on my head, as if I suddenly got a big headache: "No! Not Sarkozy !" They all bursted out laughing, slaming their hands on their thigh. I had the demonstration that the reputation of our president had arrived up to a remote area. And noticed, when the conversation went a little further, that he was not exactly "famous" but had a poor reputation. I wasn't embarrassed by the situation. Just cautious and careful because I didn't want to be assimilated to his behaviours and policies.
For me, there was no tension, in this situation. At the contrary, it had broken the ice between us. And provided a good laugh to everybody.
After that, I felt really free to talk to them and finally asked one of the man back to me, if I could take his picture. His blue colored eyes were amazing. He has agreed and that's how I made this portrait... In the pijou.

Version franaise:

J'tais dtermine voyager par moi-mme entre Thulla, Hababa, Zakatine et Bokur, mme aprs que l'on m'ait dit qu'il tait quasiment impossible de le faire. La diffrence entre "presque impossible" et "compltement impossible", m'intresse souvent beaucoup. Dans ce cas, j'ai ralis que a signifiait signifi simplement que je devais utiliser les transports locaux. Ce qui n'a rien d'impossible! Les gens du pays le font quotidiennement, n'est-ce pas?! J'ai pens que peut-tre, je ne trouverais pas beaucoup de monde pour aller vers Zakatine Bokur la fin, parce que a semblait tre un coin perdu, ... et alors ? Je pourrais toujours marcher ! Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas avec les touristes ? Trop prsss ou trop paresseux pour un tel voyage ?

Il n'est pas facile, c'est vrai, particulirement pour quelqu'un qui parle peine arabe, mais si on garde sa bonne humeur, et maintient le cap, c'est pas si difficile que a: a peut mme devenir un des moments les plus drles du voyage.

J'ai commenc ngocier un transport vers Hababa en taxi collectif. Mais c'tait un peu tard, aux alentours de midi, pour trouver d'autres clients pour partager le vhicule avec moi, et les conducteurs me demandaient des prix trs excentriques (et, naturellement, trs levs).
Enfin j'ai trouv un gars qui retournait sur Hababa pour le djeuner et que a ne gnait pas de me prendre bord pour un prix normal. On a parl durant tout le chemin, le plus souvent sans se comprendre, mais c'tait assez drle. Il a essay de me convaincre que louer ses services pour le voyage entier comme conducteur priv, mais j'ai refus. Au lieu de s'en offenser, il m'a invit djeuner. Mais j'ai refus son invitation parce que j'tais dj en retard. Quand nous sommes arrivs Hababa, il m'a laiss sur la grande route qui mne Zakatine et refus que je lui paye la course !

J'ai commenc marcher. C'tait une pente raide sous la lumire dure d'un soleil trs chaud mais j'tais libre, et trs heureuse de me dbrouiller par moi-mme. Aprs de longues minutes, j'ai vu un vhicule grimper lentement la cte. C'tait un camion avec trois gais lurons, trs tonns et passablement divertis de me voir faire de l'auto-stop dans ce paysage dsertique. Ils m'ont embarqu pour un court trajet et m'ont laiss un croisement avant de changer de direction. J'ai recommenc march. c'tait enivrant d'tre seule dans ce paysage si dramatique. J'ai ador.

J'ai march un moment. Le vent s'tait lev et je devais faire attention ce que mon foulard sur la tte, ne s'envole pas. Entendant une voiture venir, je l'ai rajust encore une fois, et me suis retourne pour faire du stop.

Quand la voiture s'est arrt, j'ai ralis que c'tait une pijou (taxi collectif). Elle tait bonde, pleine de vieuw ymnites, habills de faon traditionnelle. Ils semblaient srieux, et vrai dire, pas franchement commodes au premier regard. Je me suis assise l'avant, ct de l'homme ct du conducteur, et le voyage a commenc. J'ai jet un coup d'oeil aux visages de mes compagnons : ils taient fiers, graves et silencieux. J'ai commenc contempler le paysage quand l'un d'entre eux m'a pos une question.

Quand ils ont su que j'tais franaise, ils ont commenc me parler de Franois Mitterand (trs bon, leur avis, ils m'ont montr leurs pouces levs vers le haut), de Jacques Chirac (ils ont fait le mme geste, pouces levs vers le haut) et puis, m'ont demand : Et... "Sarkouzy", il est comment? J'ai soupir, j'ai dit" ; Ae, ae, ae" ; ce qui les a bien fait rire. Et j'ai dit, la tte entre les mains, comme si j'ai soudain un violent mal de crne : " Ah Non ! Pas Sarkozy ! " Ils ont tous clat de rire, s'en donner des claques sur les cuisses avec leurs mains. J'ai eu la dmonstration que la rputation de notre prsident tait arrive jusqu' des contres lointaines. Et not, quand la conversation est alle un peu plus loin, qu'il n'tait pas exactement "renomm" ; mais avait une pitre rputation. Je n'tais pas embarrasse par la situation. Juste prudente et attentive parce que je ne voulais en aucun cas tre assimile ses comportements et ses choix politiques.

Pour moi, il n'y avait aucune tension, dans cette situation. Au contraire, elle avait bris la glace entre nous. Et fourni l'occasion de partager un bon rire avec tout le monde. Aprs a, je me suis sentie vraiment libre de leur parler et j'ai finalement demand l'un des hommes derrire moi si je pouvais le prendre en photo. Ses yeux taient incroyablement bleus. Il a accept et c'est ainsi que j'ai fait ce portrait... Dans la pijou.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Marine Rebillout (eversmile) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 864 W: 518 N: 1921] (11636)
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  • Date Taken: 2008-03-00
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  • Date Submitted: 2008-06-30 23:37
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Points: 6
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