Danish Photographer Kim Thue spent 10 months in Sierra Leone wandering about with his camera until he eventually walked into the slums of Kroo Bay. In his now published photography book “Dead Traffic” Thue uncovers ‘Les Miserables’ of Freetown. From prostitutes, to drug addicts, he captures the faces and the moments of ‘ghetto’ living. “Dead Traffic” is published by Prospekt Agency and can be ordered here. An exhibit of the photographs are now on display at Freelens Gallery in Hamburg through May 19th 2012.
In a recent interview in Gomma Mag Kim Thue explains his work in Sierra Leone and how he came up with the title for the book:
This book is what it is, a tightly edited accumulation of photographs. Perhaps it reveals as much about my views and me as a person as it does about anything captured inside. Here it would be nice to finish with the words of the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, who expressed my sentiments beautifully and much more eloquently when she said: “The unconscious obsession that we photographers have is that wherever we go we want to find the theme that we carry inside ourselves.”
It was during the dry season and the car was covered in red dust kicked up from the road by passing cars. Someone had scribbled the words ‘DEAD TRAFFIC’ presumably with their fingers on the windscreen. At first I simply found it mildly amusing in the same way I do in London, when I pass one of those builders vans saying ‘I wish my wife was as dirty as this’. Yet somehow the words stuck with me and it soon became apparent that they could in fact easily be applied as a metaphor for everything that was going on around me. The overpopulated city with its relentless queues and roadblocks and the dysfunctional family, moving at a frantic pace yet at the same time in terms of financial and social advancement going nowhere. They became two key words in my subconscious and I started shaping my imagery around them. Two days later I encountered the eagle and the title was confirmed.