The spirit of great travel journalism is alive and well in this stunning new large-format landscape book by National Geographic Traveler’s First Prize winner Jay Dunn. Over one hundred and thirty striking photographs complement this collection of essays and observations on an African adventure, where the photographer’s search for the beauty of everyday life leads to memorable people and some extraordinary experiences.
“A pale sun was low on the horizon when the Wednesday afternoon bus roared into Gorom-Gorom, stirring up clouds of fine gritty dust among the low-slung buildings. In this fading light, one could be forgiven for thinking of the Wild West, except our heroes were turbaned Africans, wrapped head to toe against the sun, and in the case of the Tuareg, swords at the ready… This was to be one of the stranger nights I would spend in Africa, an auburn crescent moon peeking out behind the clouds, but one I would never forget, padding through shin-deep sand in the dark with a stranger in search of a shop “just over there,” hauling an unconscious Frenchman off the ground and laying him out on restaurant tables to wait for a doctor, carrying a real ceramic plate of food for miles through inky black alleys, murmuring cows and the hush of a town battened down for the night, lights winking out behind thick walls and the anticipation of coolness at dawn.”
Jay Dunn is a freelance photojournalist and documentary filmmaker based in Beijing, China. A veteran after seven years in the region, Mr. Dunn is the author of "Ritual and Romance in Asia," and is represented by the Focus Agency. A winner of multiple awards for photography including the First Prize from National Geographic Traveler, he has worked with a wide range of magazines. Mr. Dunn's focus on humanitarian issues and cultural tradition has led to contributions to the New York Times and reportage for National Public Radio. “In the very humanity of a gesture, what I look for are the emotions we all share, the intimacy of friendship, or the pain of loss, an offering to the hungry, or hands clasped in prayer. To have stopped, when it was much easier to walk away, to have tried to make a difference, to have regarded the ways of others, and found lessons for my own life, these things alone keep open that elusive window, through which I hope a moment of truth may still be seen"
Ritual & Romance in Asia Published November 10, 2006