34 Hours by Rui Camilo
Reading time: about 5 minutes
About this series
34 hours South Africa by Rui Camilo is a state of timelessness. Camilo’s photo project ‘34 Hours’ suggests time in its very title. 34 hours is what he had to document the journey of a delegation led by Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the then German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. On the morning of August 6th 2009, Camilo landed in Johannesburg, South Africa 34 hours later, he took off again. The period between was jam-packed with appointments at non-governmental organisations and at aid projects for disabled children and orphans.
It was a tight schedule – one that is depicted in this book in the form of a timeline which accompanies the photographs throughout.
Despite the extreme limitations in time and space, the aim was to give an impression of the current situation of children with disabilities, schools and NGO´s.
What types of images can be captured in such time-restricted conditions? How does one deal with a situation in which one has no control over the temporal sequence of events? Rui Camilo says: ‘You have to let go of expectations and of preconceived ideas about how a reportage or image series is meant to go. As a result a vacuum arises, a state of timelessness, which can then be filled.’
It was from such a state of timelessness that this book has emerged - a book without preliminary conceptual work but in which every shot fits together to form a conclusive whole. And it is perhaps precisely because of the absence of preconceptions, that an exceedingly free, intense group of works has been achieved. He is equipped with only a few scraps of information about the protagonists; therefore the images alone must tell their stories. Viewers are left with the task of reading and finishing these stories themselves.
Camilo’s photos associate tragedy, comedy, sadness, joy and optimism in unusual ways and force the viewer to confront a difficult reality. In this way, Camilo suggests that it is not his concern to convey a rigid image of South Africa. He knows the world is subject to permanent transformation and that lots of things change dynamically throughout time. – Marc Peschke
Rui Camilo was born in Lisbon and grew up on his fathers farm in the Estrela Mountains in the north of Portugal. With six years he moved to Paco D’Arcos, on the Coast nearby Lisbon. Since the mid-seventies he is based in Wiesbaden / Germany where he still lives with his family.
After studying visual arts he spent several years as an Assistant in London and Germany and began his working life as a freelance photographer working both commercially and editorially. Mixing commercial photography with photo journalism Rui Camilo is at home in practically all areas of photography, wether in the studio or on location anywhere across the world. His work has been awarded and exhibitet in many countries.
In 2001 he founded the Stock-agency “Deepol” that merged 2010 with Plainpicture. Since many years he is suporting NGO`s like the Okeanos Foundation okeanos-foundation.org for whom he has traveled all over the world, Löwenmut ifb-loewenmut.de where he attended their work with disabled children in South Africa, and the Pacific Voyagers pacificvoyagers.org on their epic journeys across the Pacific.
In 2011 he was protagonist in the documentary “Over the islands of Afrika – Sao Tomé & Príncipe”, broadcasted at ARTE TV and produced by Filmquadrat filmquadrat-dok.de.
Photographer: Rui Camilo
Photo book: 34hours
Photos copyright Rui Camilo
DRAWLIGHTS | 1/1 – one post/one photographer, weekly. Off-chain and on-chain. By Peter Nitsch, lens-based artist, a member of Jenny Metaverse, RawDAO and lifetime Member of the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand.