Monday, October 20, 2008
Tamale Thru a Lens
Current Location: Tamale, Ghana / 9° 24′ 27″ N, 0° 51′ 12.24″ W
Ghana is by far the hottest place I've ever been. Sitting at zero degree's on the equator, the sun pounds at you with no mercy.
We're' currently filming in the northern city of Tamale, home to generations of poverty and despair. From one village to the next, I witness thru my lens the sheer need for humanitarian aid and funding. It's a sad existence, but to the people of Tamale, this is their way of life.
I film hour after hour, finding no difficulty framing compelling shots. It's a photographers dream come true to be shooting in a place like this, utilizing the power of light to convey feelings and emotions. And as we interview them on camera, their voices of hardship reverberates and chimes deep within us, long after we've left their village. Cholera, malaria, yellow fever, and diarrhea are all killers in this part of the world. All curable diseases almost everywhere else. The irony is enough to erode your soul.
While interviewing a village chief this afternoon, I spotted a little girl in the corner of my eye that almost brought me to tears. Panning the camera right, I zoomed in for a close up of her face. Both her eyes were barely open as she sat there all alone. Her arms crossed, caressing her fragile little body. In 110 degree heat, she was shivering--suffering from malaria. In Ghana, the strongest and deadliest strains of malaria run rampant.
Just before we left, I handed her mother a handful of Tylenol and instructed her to administer one dose every four hours. She smiled and said 'thank you.' Looking at the side view mirror as we drove off, I saw the little girl slowly stand up and placed her right hand over her heart.
Tonight, after viewing the footage and staring at her face, I wish I could've done more to help. I can only hope that I did.
Tomorrow morning is another day and a new adventure--as I try to find that perfect image, of an imperfect society.