Lots of different incidents lead to making this little feature happen; the introduction to the beautifully gentle textile designer Marta Buda (who is also Douglas’ gal), a massive push of encouragement and support for The Periodic Journal from the boys at Coffee Supreme (Douglas being one of these boys), and an evening scroll through the web of instagram (as you do)… I stumbled across these: Douglas A Johns‘ ‘Portraits of Origin’ photographic series. I immediately got that flurry of urgency (as I do when I see something I love), one: because Africa is high on the list of places to visit, and two: because check out these portraits! Captivating in narrative and aesthetic. I cannot stop looking at all of them…
Enjoy! And a massive thanks to Douglas for letting me share his beautiful images!
“In December of 2013 I was asked to travel to Ethiopia with the task of documenting the various complexities of the country’s coffee industry. It wasn’t long before my focus turned to the people.
This was my first time in Africa and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. On a trip like this you have a certain number of preconceptions and ideas of what your travels might hold for you. I intentionally kept my research minimal to try hold these pre conceptions to a minimum and let my experience take me by surprise.
For a country afflicted so heavily by famine and poverty, I was met with an overwhelming sense of alacrity. The presence of such hardships was prevalent and nothing like I had experienced before, however the warmth, friendliness, and beauty of the people I met and photographed is unrivaled.
The one thing that captured me the most was the presence of people wherever you turned. Roads were literally consumed with pedestrians, even hours into the countryside wherever you happened to look you’d see someone. Be it people wandering the streets or just as a splash of colour amongst the trees, each person seemed to have a purpose wherever they were headed. It was for this reason that Ethiopia’s people are firmly etched in my mind.”
— Douglas A Johns
‘Portraits of Origin’ series is shot on 35mm film. See more [here]