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Loving a Person Is Taking Care of Them
Chika Jones on 3 photograph in the Tender Photo Archive
In the photograph, we see four windows, the door—I assume one exists—is out of sight. I like to think the person on the move is young, and entered through the carved hole in the wall. I am reminded that as it is in life, it is in art: you do not need to enter through the expected routes, you can create yours. Especially if you are young.
School uniforms were invented to bring equality to school goers, a way to ensure the wealth disparity of parents was not immediately evident. I think it is a lazy solution. At lunchtime in Nigeria, when the lunch boxes came out or didn't in some cases, the wealth disparity was immediately clear. Capitalism is built on uniformity and cohesion, happily, art continues to successfully counter its influence. Like Rosi has done with this photograph, artists somehow maintain a tight grip on the subversive power of art while fighting uniformity, cohesion and lazy solutions.
I am reminded that loving a person is taking care of them. Their body and their mind. I have always been concerned about how broken bones can heal but a broken mind cannot. It's always trying, but even in its best moments it is like the man in the photo, sitting in a bathtub, holding his breath as though waiting for something to fall. Whether our minds are healthy or broken, we spend our life waiting. I think the difference is in what we are waiting for. Are we waiting for something to rise or for it to fall?
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This is the #10 edition of Correspondences, a pop-up series on Tender Photo, published every Saturday from March 4–May 20, 2023. I asked a few writers to find “correspondences” between 3 photographs from the archive, chosen without constraint on style or genre, and to write short commentaries on their choice. The goal is to open up Tender Photo’s editorial and curatorial process to an engaged group of readers, broadening the diversity of responses to the varied work featured so far.
Tender Photo is a bi-weekly newsletter on African photography, published Wednesdays and Saturdays. See the archive for more features on early to mid-career photographers. If this newsletter was shared with you, consider subscribing, or forward to a friend. Please whitelist the newsletter to ensure you never miss it.