ice cream motor bike

IRON AFRICA Photo Exhibition

Against everyones’ expectations, in South Africa I didn’t take a single photo of Kruger Park. The best of a wild life I could photograph with my temper could be animals’ bums running towards horizon. Instead I shot industrial landscapes and called it IRON AFRICA. Alliance France organised an exhibition of my photo series.

On my first days in South Africa I grub my Nikon and jumped into the husbend’s car when he was going to visit a few mines for his business. Working and engineering folks had no idea what I was shooting at their dusty and oily interiors but I was totally amazed with this stuff.

I somehow got an email about International Photo Contest and replied with a couple of the iron still lives to them. I won an African Regional contest and was offered to make a personal exhibition. I did it my way. I went to our local fruit shop and ask 40 cardboard boxes. It wasn’t so easy to explain that I need their trash to framing my photos. In factory’s workshop I found the old chains for hanging my “framed” pictures. Then I bought a kids’ set of hand paining. A few hours before the opening party I was sitting on the grass at the Alliance France garden  with all this stuff and painting boxes with my both hands. When photos were stick to the painted boxes and boxes were attached to the chains,the workers hanged these constructions to the walls. Yes, it was something refreshing for everybody. I just forget to put prises on the pictures… “At least it was fun,” the organisers said. There was a lot of people at the opening party, three hundreds it’s a lot for Pretoria.

Not sure what amazed the visitors more – either the subject of my photos which was rusty trash or fruit boxes, painted by my hands and hanging on iron chains. Probably both.

Here an article of Kormorant newspaper from the opening party. Not long after this event my Nikon was stolen with exciting footage of old port around Cape Town. I never bought another one. Too bulky to carry…


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Lena Faber used to work as a journalist at a mainstream Russian newspaper, she wrote books for a major publishing house, and directed her original concept on Drive TV in Russia. In 2009, she moved to South Africa and taught at the University of SA, where she took up running competitively and won a silver medal at the World Masters Athletic Championship. She has also won an international photo contest and had a photo exhibition of her work. In 2014 she decided to try fast long-distance hiking and started with the Appalachian Trail where she earned a trail name "Brave" from other hikers. She has also cycled US Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, as well as other parts of the world. Still hiking and cycling somewhere.