A Conversation with Ben Moukacha
‘Every Congolese child is a sapeur. You shouldn’t ask when I became one. The point is that I’m still one. Some practice a bit and others practice deeply. I’m very deep in it. For us, clothing speaks. Fashion in general is out of fashion. One day it’s enormous rings, the next day they’re gone. La sape is beyond fashion; it’s like the earth. You’re born dust and you die dust. You’re born and we lose you as well.’
The street photographer, as opposed to a studio image-maker, engages with a working process that observes and captures events and arrangements of people, engaging with elements out of their sphere of control. New York-based photographer Joel Meyerowitz describes the actions of street photography as outward looking and observant, ‘as if we were fishermen in the stream of Fifth Avenue’, in contrast to the studio image, for which the photographer directs their energy inward, and it is therefore an introspective practice.