Dogme: Come Sunday

Participant: Sergey Neamoscou and activists

On Sunday you would see peanuts in bottles, simple meals, and sweet potatoes at the gathering of a community that is emerging with a new agenda to raise consciousness. We went to the Ivory Coast and became acquainted with the sex workers many of whom are LGBT and HIV positive who are involved with the villagers through their grassroots Sunday meals where they sensitize local communities to their problems. They introduce their whole family, ask about your family, distribute condoms, and show how to put them on. It is about raising awareness, but through an African mentality. “Life is tough, but we should still be proud and happy, life is worth living.”

We still have the same issues in Europe as the Africans, which is why we should care about Africa. Because of the Vatican, we are the ones that preached to practice without protection, so we are still quite responsible. We are also the ones pumping the money out of African countries and we need to give something in exchange. It is very hard to combine economic and social issues together, but they depend on each other. I was expecting to see quite a bit of misery, desperation, but I found myself around happy people. They wanted to have fun, to show others that they exist, that they are kind and funny. Shooting on the beach, capturing these emerging activists on my Mamiya 7 with expired 120 film was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was also one the most emotional moments of my life; it was something stronger than myself.