Longing for Lamu by Annelies Damen
Dutch photographer Annelies Damen sees Lamu, Kenya, as home. Lamu has maintained an undisturbed
Swahili culture for centuries, which inspires dreams of our past. She felt the Kenyan Archipelago’s poetic
energy the moment her feet touched ground there 20 years ago, and it has triggered her creative mind
Annelies gets especially inspired in Lamu thanks to the slow pace of life, the surrounding Indian ocean, the
Swahili architecture and, above all, the intriguing women she meets. There’s something about the way the
women walk through the small street in Shela with the tropical equatorial sun light shining on them. Some
of them are veiled in black, which is traditional in the Swahili culture, while other women from Kenyan tribes
wear colourful clothes. Every stay in Lamu leaves Annelies feeling more connected with the women and
East Africa as a whole.
The 15 photos that will be shown at the X BANK gallery are the beginning of a much bigger project: a photo
book showing Annelies Damen’s affection for Lamu, with the focus on the magical and poetic light shining
on the women and the daily Lamu life.