rue defale...

Street scene in our old neighborhood in Africa.

Recently I developed a roll of film taken some time ago while we still lived in Africa.

I didn't have much hope for the roll, especially as it was in an old Brownie camera that got broken by our cat Lumpy. She didn't mean to. She was just climbing around in the shelf where the camera was sitting and bumped it off onto the stone tile floor below.

The camera was actually mostly intact after the fall. But little pieces of bakelite plastic were scattered here and there, and lots of rattling around inside the camera's internals signaled its certain demise.

So we set the busted Brownie and its half-finished roll of film aside in early 2009. Then, while packing to leave Lomé in September 2010, I went out and clicked off the few remaining frames.

After that, the broken Brownie and its undeveloped roll of film slowly made its way across the oceans to our new home in Albania. Here I dismantled the camera and harvested the lens for some experiments with the Speed Graphic. Meanwhile, the roll of film itself continued to sit around undeveloped for yet another year. I always figured the odds were low of getting anything good from the roll, so it never made its way up the queue into the developing tank until January of this year.

Much to my surprise and delight, many of the images turned out well! This photo and the few that follow were made on the earlier, pre-busted part of the roll, taken by Teshka in early 2009.

The image here represents so much: the thick sandy streets, so difficult to traverse; the faded colors of Disney characters adorning rough-plastered walls; the posted photographs of deceased relatives.

Lomé, Togo, West Africa.

Photo by Teshka, early 2009.

Kodak, Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Neopan 400.