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Botswana, Gaborone



The beauty of this project is that sometimes I actually get close to people. Not really close as in that I know everything about them. That’s impossible given the limited time I can spend in each capital. But still you can get close to people when you meet them as a total stranger and you leave as a friend. That’s what happened here in Gaborone, Botswana. 

I’d been taking photos downtown for a day before I heard about what was going on at he bus station from friends I met. I decided to go and check it out. All bus stations are the same, or at least they start to look like that after seeing so many. But to my surprise the one in Gaborone was definitely something different. I mean, a bus station combined with a pool joint…?! They’re all over the place but somehow I ended up talking to these guys. They were super friendly and interested and told me a lot about their lives. They turned out to be Zimbabwean refugees of which Botswana has many. A Zim table in Botswana they said. Luckily Botswana and other countries are quite tolerant to people fleeing from Zimbabwe. But it’s not a permanent solution of course and they all want to go back.

An afternoon well spent with these friendly guys who really looked after me even when things suddenly got a little rough. Exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for with Streets of the World.

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In the project "Streets of the World", photographer Jeroen Swolfs captures street life in all 205 of the world's capitals. Differences are visible immediately: differences in people, environments, cultures and circumstances. The consequences of wars, natural disasters, and famine are contrasted with luxury, pragmatism, warmth and security. An important similarity captured in each urban image is the portrayal of everyday life. Life abounds everywhere with all its resilience, hope, friendship and perseverance. This is a photography project that not only distinguishes itself in scale, but also through the realistic vision of the photographer and his eye for the global citizen.
Jeroen Swolfs
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